Jury finds murderer Mark Shirley guilty of "brutal" rape
A judge has told a convicted murderer found guilty of a "brutal" rape that he should never be released from jail.
And one of Mark Shirley's rape victims says she believes there may be even more victims yet to come forward.
Bristol Crown Court heard Shirley subjected a 32-year-old woman to a “brutal and prolonged” sexual humiliation in which she was tied up and repeatedly raped in her Bristol home.
Shirley, aged 42 and of Lockleaze at the time, denied 17 charges comprising of four rapes, 12 serious sexual assaults and wounding in December 2005.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Wednesday, May 22 2013
But a jury found him guilty this afternoon on all counts.
The jury was told that, in late 2009, he was convicted of rape, sexual assault by penetration and false imprisonment of 40-year-old Helen Stockford in her Bristol home.
The attack took place on March 20, 2009, a little over three years after the attack on the current complainant, and he was handed six life sentences with a minimum nine years.
Today, after Shirley was handed 16 life sentences and told he should never be released from prison, Mrs Stockford - who has waived her right to anonymity - said he had told her their were more victims.
The Honourable Mr Justice Astill said today when he was sentencing Shirley: “Kenneth Mark Shirley, you subjected [the victim] to a series of violent and sadistic sexual assaults over 12 hours or more, having broken into her home, knowing that she would be alone.
“Your violent threats and sexual depravity reduced her to such a state of terror that the prospect of you returning to kill her, in accordance with your threat to kill her, meant that for many years she was unable to disclose her suffering at your hands to anyone.”
The judge said Shirley had destroyed the life of a once intelligent and capable young woman.
He said: “She has paid the price for your perverted pleasure, which is hardly to be imagined by balanced and reasonable minds.”
The judge said that along with Shirley’s previous convictions for murder and rape he felt that it was appropriate to exceed sentencing guidelines.
He said: “You must appreciate that the nature of these offences and your previous offences for murder and rape may well result and probably should result in you remaining in custody for the remainder of your life.”
The jury heard the woman briefly chatted to Shirley at the Pitcher and Piano pub on Bristol’s Waterfront.
Three weeks later he turned up at her home, balaclava-clad, and inflicted a terrifying sexual attack on her in which he threatened to cut off pieces of her body and she believed she would be killed.
As the attack unfolded he pushed her back onto her bed, pulled her hair and told her: ”I’m gonna make you scream … and you’re gonna love it,” a jury was told.
And in 1987, when Shirley was 17, he was convicted of murdering 67-year-old widow Mary Wainwright in Cardiff.
In that killing there was strong evidence to suggest a violent sexual element.
Obvious similarities were highlighted between the murder, Helen Stockford's rape and current complaint, such as use of a blade and fascination for blood, putting them “beyond the realms of coincidence”.
William Mousley QC, opening the case for the prosecution, told the jury the current complainant was repeatedly raped or violently assaulted over some hours, whilst being held prisoner.
He told the jury: “Many of the incidents occurred at knife-point or when she had been tied up.
“The consequences of the attack for her were devastating.
“Her mental health deteriorated and, despite her efforts to put it out of her mind, she was unable to continue working and was referred for specialist treatment.
“It was more than three years later, in the course of that treatment, that she first told anyone anything about what happened to her and another 18 months before she was able to give the full detail of her ordeal.
“At the beginning of 2011 she first spoke to a police officer about it but was not prepared to make a formal complaint.
“It was only in May 2011 that she agreed to be interviewed formally and she described the terrifying events of some five-and-a-half years earlier.”
The jury heard it was in 2005 when the complainant and her friend went to the Pitcher and Piano and met “Mark”, telling him where they lived and worked.
The complainant’s friend explained she was going away for her Christmas party In three weeks’ time.
When Mark told the complainant he had been in the Army, the conversation turned sour and she walked away, swearing at him, the court heard.
Three weeks later, when the complainant was alone, a balaclava clad man entered her home and revealed himself as the Mark from the pub.
Mr Mousley described, in graphic detail, how Shirley then subjected her to 12 hours-plus sexual degradation.
Shirley even stopped for tea breaks as the nightmare continued, the court heard, and told her if she told police he would kill her and eat her.
Mr Mousley said: “On several occasions during her ordeal he referred to her as Jan Mary, and on one of the occasions in which he was in the kitchen, he was singing the nursery rhyme ‘Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary’. He told her that he would not make a mess of her face.”
The jury heard that, after the ordeal , the woman washed herself thoroughly, cleaned the house and bedding and was convinced if she told police Mark would come back and kill her or anyone else there.
She threw herself into her work, didn’t tell her housemate and moved house – locking herself away, scared to go out.
In 2008 she exhibited post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD) to clinical psychologist Olga dos Santos and in March 2009 she revealed she had been raped by a stranger three years previously and her mental health deteriorated.
In 2009 she gave up work due to poor mental health.
In group psychotherapy sessions she referred to “the man” and asked “is he in the room?,” the jury was told.
Shirley was arrested in July 2011 and denied the allegations.
After the complainant picked him out of an identity parade, the accused accepted he may have told people he had been in the Army and French Foreign Legion, which wasn’t true.
He maintained his innocence, even though he had been identified, and said the woman was mistaken.
Mr Mousley said: “(The complainant) was repeatedly raped, assaulted and sexually humiliated. The offender has the same first name as the defendant, She recognised him more than five years later. He had the opportunity to have met her and the knowledge to have gone to her home three weeks later, when she was alone.
“He has a history of similar behaviour and there are those peculiar hallmarks to his behaviour in these assaults.”
In a graphic, harrowing account of her terrifying ordeal, Shirley’s victim said: "He was so angry. His face was so angry. It was almost like he was more of an animal than a person.”
Shirley declined to give evidence in his defence.
Speaking today Shirley's other rape victim, Helen Stockford, issued a statement in which she said mistakes had been made with the handling of Shirley and she believed strong lessons needed to be learnt.
Mrs Stockford said: “I believe the justice system in this country needs a complete overhaul, particularly with respect to victims of rape and that is what I have been campaigning for for three long years.”
She said she would be pressing to meet Prime Minister David Cameron and the new justice secretary Chris Grayling as strong changes needed to be made.