A WILMSLOW rapist who groomed and abducted a 14-year-old schoolgirl to 'use as a sexual plaything' has been jailed for 15 years.

Jake O’Neill, of Dairybrook Grove, began grooming the Wolverhampton teen in an online chatroom in October 2021, claiming he wanted to be her boyfriend, before paying for a 65-mile taxi ride to his home on December 6.

She arrived in her school uniform, and claims she told him she was only 14 early in their association, but he has always claimed he thought she was 16.

Her family had no idea she was going, and after she didn’t show up for school, her mum called the police.  

After O’Neill had unprotected sex with the girl several times on December 6, he tried and failed to smash her phone, so threw it into a nearby river.

Police were still able to use data from it to trace her to Cheshire.

She spent the night O’Neill’s house, then on December 7, he performed a sex act on her which she didn’t consent to.

In the afternoon of December 7, O’Neill left the girl unattended while he went to Tesco.

When he returned, police were at the house, and he was arrested.

In an interview at the Middlewich custody suite on December 8, O’Neill said the non-consensual act 'may have happened accidentally’.

He’d also sent phone messages to an unknown person just hours before the victim arrived at his house claiming he was in a sexual relationship with an underage girl.

O’Neill denied eight charges, including rape, attempted rape, child abduction, grooming, and four counts of penetrating a child, but was convicted of them all by a jury at Chester Crown Court on Friday, January 5.

When he returned to Chester for sentencing on Tuesday, March 5, prosecutor, Ryan Rothwell, read a statement from the victim to the court.

Knutsford Guardian: Jake O'NeillJake O'Neill (Image: Cheshire Police)

He said the victim has dropped out of school now and feels she can’t go back, and won’t be taking her GCSEs in the summer, adding she feels ‘like she’s let her parents down’.

Mr Rothwell added she is now under child and adolescent mental health services, and her GP believes she has PTSD, though she claims ‘not to understand what that means’.

The victim also described not being able to breathe when she goes outside, though she wants to, adding her life has ‘fallen apart’.

Defending, Eddy Steel said his client, who still maintains his innocence, ‘wasn’t doing himself any favours’.

He added: “According to the Probation Service, his level of denial, skewed views, and cognitive distortion in relation to the sexual abuse of children make him very difficult to work with.

“This means they were unable to assess with any accuracy the danger he poses.”

Passing sentence, Judge Patrick Thompson said: “This was a sustained and repeated incident.

“Your victim is certain you knew she was 14, and that she told you so. But you saw an opportunity to satisfy your deviant sexual desires.

“She turned up at your flat in her school uniform, which is another clear indication of her youth.

“Effectively, you hid her in plain sight, and kept her in your flat to use as a sexual plaything.

“You denied responsibility and continue to do so to this day. You blame her, and behave as if you are the victim, claiming you’ve been duped.

“The truth is you are a paedophile with an unhealthy sexual interest in children.”

Judge Thompson sentenced O’Neill to 15 years in prison, with at least 10 years behind bars, followed by an extended licence period of five additional years on top of his sentence.

He is also subject to a sexual harm prevention order, and must sign the sex offenders register, for the rest of his life.