The UK's fastest-growing regional news network
16°C | 8°C
16°C | 5°C
18°C | 9°C
See the full forecast for your area.
Sponsored by Britelite.
Home Gravesend News Article
by Lynn Cox
A sex beast has today been jailed for 10 years after raping an elderly woman in her late 70s.
Joe Street, 20, claimed he had drunk 13 cans of lager and could not remember attacking the pensioner in Gravesend last June.
The court heard he slapped the woman as she tried to fight him off - and told her he had been in prison for a year and "hadn't had any".
Jailing Street (pictured right) at Maidstone Crown Court today, a judge branded his behaviour "appalling".
Judge Jeremy Carey told him: "This had a great psychological effect on the woman - and she was an elderly lady.
"She had to go through the trauma of an HIV test. Your conduct on that day was appalling."
Street was given a 10-year jail sentence, but will serve half the term on licence - plus an extended licence period of six years.
He will also be on the sex offenders' register for life.
The victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, later told police she realised she had no choice but to stop struggling with Street.
"all i could do was just let it happen. i feel awful but i didn't know what else to do..." – joe street's elderly victim
In a video interview played to the jury, she said: "I tried to push him away and tried to grab his face and he slapped me on the head and said: 'No.'
"I thought, 'back off'. I didn't want to get a good hiding because he was a big fella and could knock me for six.
"All I could do was just let it happen. I feel awful but I didn't know what else to do."
Street, who upon his release from prison had been bailed to live with a relative in Jenkins Dale, Chatham, denied rape and chose not to give evidence.
It was claimed by his legal team that he was drunk and could not recall the incident.
However, tests revealed he had no alcohol in his system.
Jurors found him guilty of rape within just 15 minutes after his trial in November.
The court heard the pensioner noticed Street exposing his genitals and "playing with himself". Having been pushed downwards, the woman said she was made to take off her right trouser leg.
She recalled Street then removed her trousers completely "so he could do it better".
At the end of her ordeal, which lasted two to three minutes, she recalled Street telling her: "It'll be all right". He then fled and the woman phoned the police.
A recording of her distressed 999 call was played to the jury and she told police that before he left, Street had searched through her cardigan pockets as if looking for a phone.
A DNA profile that matched Street was later found on the woman. The chances of it belonging to anyone else were said to be one-in-a-billion, the court heard.
The woman also suffered injuries including cuts or tears to her genital area and a bruise to her inner left knee.
She denied during cross-examination that she had consented, or given the impression that she was consenting, to having sex with Street.
Street, who was 19 at the time, was arrested and when interviewed made no comment to the "overwhelming majority" of the questions, said Mark Cotter, prosecuting.
However, when told it had been alleged he had been touching himself before raping the pensioner, he replied: "That's disgusting. This interview is disgusting."
Street has a string of previous convictions, but none of a sexual nature.
DC Zoe Traynor, from Kent Police, said: "This was a case whereby Street used his strength for his own satisfaction.
"It was an horrific sexual crime and the speed of which the jury came to its decision only serves to highlight the evidence presented to them in this case.
"The victim is likely to never get over this but is a strong-willed and immensely brave woman who, with the support of her family, is moving on with her life."
Click here for more news from Gravesend.
Click here for more news from around the county.