Man found guilty of rape after woman conceived in attack pursues charges

<span>Photograph: Jon Lewis/Alamy</span>
Photograph: Jon Lewis/Alamy

A man has been convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl 46 years ago, after the daughter conceived during the attack pursued charges against him.

Carvel Bennett, 74, was convicted by a jury at Birmingham crown court. Members of the jury deliberated for just over two hours before finding him guilty.

In what is thought to be the first case of its kind, Bennett was tracked down by Daisy, now 45, who was conceived through the rape. DNA tests on Daisy and her birth parents confirmed that Bennett was her biological father.

The jury heard evidence from Daisy’s birth mother, now 59, that she had been told by her mother that she was required to babysit Bennett’s children. Soon after arriving there, one of the children told her she was wanted upstairs by Bennett. She said she was surprised to find him at home, because she had been asked to babysit.

When she entered the bedroom, the door was shut behind her. She said that Bennett told her he was not going to hurt her, then raped her and told her not to tell anyone about what he had done.

“He told me to keep quiet. I kept quiet. I just let him do what he wanted to do. I let him use me. I was in shock. I was a scared child. I didn’t fight Mr Bennett. I was a 13-year-old child,” she said.

While Bennett told the court he regretted what had happened, he denied raping her. He said that she had made sexual overtures to him and that she had told him she was 16. She strongly denied both claims.

Bennett said in his evidence: “I didn’t know she was 13. It wasn’t a deliberate, contemplated act. I don’t feel I have to apologise to her. I don’t think I have done anything to her. I don’t remember her as a scared child.”

The survivor told the court that the reason she had initially declined to give a statement to police about the rape was because she didn’t want to relive the trauma. “I had suffered and I wanted to get on with my life,” she said

Bennett was remanded in custody and is due to be sentenced on Tuesday.

Daisy said she was overwhelmed after the jury returned a guilty verdict. She told the Guardian: “It’s been a 46-year wait for justice. I’m happy and overwhelmed, but this should never have taken so long. Now my work begins to get the law changed to get recognition for people like me conceived in rape.”

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