A Bedford teenage boy dressed up like an SAS man and packed a ‘rape kit’ to break into the home of a young girl and sexually assault her after she’d spurned his Snapchat advances.
Aaron Irvine, 19, dressed all in black with a sinister balaclava and latex black gloves. On his back was a black rucksack containing everything he thought he would need for his depraved mission.
He was armed with a hunting knife a lock knife and in the rucksack was a rope, tape, a black utility belt, a shoe lace, wet wipes, a lock pick and a change of clothing.
On his mobile phone were surveillance photos he had taken of her secluded home in the mid-Bedfordshire village where she lived with her family.
Today (4 July) Irvine, was found guilty at Luton Crown Court of trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence and sexual assault and now faces a lengthy spell behind bars.
He was acquitted of a charge of attempted rape.
After the conclusion of the trial today Judge Barbara Mensah remanded him in custody for the preparation of psychiatric and pre-sentence reports which will assess the danger he poses.
But before being led to the cell he was warned he faced a long period behind bars when he is brought back to be sentenced in October.
Detective Constable Kate Robinson, of Bedfordshire Police said: “Irvine displayed a disturbing and calculated level of behaviour as he researched and planned, and then put his deplorable strategy into action. He has shown himself to be a dangerous sexual predator.
“He now faces, as the Judge has indicated today, years rather than months in prison, for his terrifying and degrading actions that afternoon.
“Thankfully his victims were able to break free, and he was quickly apprehended before the situation could escalate further.
“I applaud the bravery of these two young girls in coming forward, and would like to thank their families for their unwavering commitment and support in this case. I hope that this conviction will bring them some comfort and, with appropriate support, allow them to move past what has happened.”
“I’m known to be very good at making girls happy x”
On the afternoon of 2 January this year the rugby club barman drove from his home in Bedford to the girl’s secluded detached house in the mid-Bedfordshire countryside.
The girl’s parents were out, but her 17-year-old friend was at the house and they were together in her bedroom watching TV.
The day before, posh speaking Irvine had sent a Snapchat text to the girl enquiring if she had a boyfriend, and asking “how available” she was.
When she replied she was “out of a relationship,” he is alleged to have sent her a message saying: “Well, I’m known to be very good at making girls happy x”
In court she told the jury she hadn’t replied, saying: “It was a weird comment. It implied something I wasn’t comfortable with.”
It was around 2.45pm that afternoon when there was a knock at the door at the house and the girls went downstairs from the bedroom.
When the door was opened, a figure dressed in black and wearing a balaclava and brandishing a knife was standing there.
The girl, who is now 18, told Luton Crown Court what happened next.
She said he held the knife as he began caressing her face and hair, and touched her breasts and bottom and tried to make her commit a sex act on him by forcing her head towards his groin area.
The teenager said he continued to touch her in the drawing room of the house and upstairs in her bedroom.
She said she pleaded with him to take any property he wanted, including iPhones and iPads, and to leave, but he told her: “Oh you wouldn’t want your parents to come home and find everything’s been taken, surely you just give me something in return.”
The girl went on: “He wanted to come to my house and rape me. It’s pretty clear, because when we left him he didn’t take anything. Nothing was missing.”
The court was told the girl and her friend managed to escape from the house and raise the alarm.
Irvine, ran off through a local wood near the girl’s home and changed out of a black jumper he had been wearing and was wearing a blue hoodie.
He didn’t get far and was quickly arrested by police who had responded to a 999 call.
Later that day, when officers searched the defendant’s home in Thor Drive, Bedford, they found a notebook in his bedroom.
The jury heard that in it were a number of entries, but one entitled “Forced Compliance” said: “Given her complete disregard of respect towards us, we have no choice other than to force her to fulfil our needs. We have her address. Home address is the most opportune location.
“However we still need to identify the exact house on her street and establish the best entry and exit points.
“This will require surveillance. A method to empty the house may be required, however the directness of this method is subject to change.”
Prosecutor Peter Shaw said the “obvious inference” was that the entry related to the then 17-year-old girl and his visit to her home on 2 January.
“It’s an extraordinary coincidence. It is entitled “Forced Compliance.” How interesting that the defendant equipped himself with two knives and was happy to brandish a hunting knife.
“One can consider his obviously frightening appearance in a balaclava and black clothing and what effect that would be likely on someone confronted with that view. Then consider the rope and tape he had with him.
“The prosecution asks does that not sound like the equipment required to a “forced compliance?”
He said he knew from the Snapchat messages that no boyfriend would be on the property, which was the most opportune location because it was “rather remote, off the beaten track and not overlooked.”
Mr Shaw said the defendant had referred in the entry to forcing “her to fulfil our needs” and went on “What sort of needs could they be?”
He said the answer was in the girl’s account of how the teenager tried to push her head down to his groin, which was a “clear and unmistakable inference that he was trying to get her to provide oral sex.”
Irvine pleaded not guilty to trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence, attempted rape and sexual assault.
Thought it was a joke
The girl told the jury that at first when she saw the figure in the doorway wearing a balaclava and dressed in black with the knife, she did wonder if it was a joke.
But she said he then walked towards her and began caressing her face and running his black latex gloved fingers through her hair before moving his hand to her chest area.
The teenager told the jury the man told her: “I came to get stuff, but you can persuade me not to take anything.”
She said he “started to touch my boobs” and she said he traced the area of her left breast with his hand “quite hard.”
Continuing her evidence to the jury she said throughout the ordeal he wore the balaclava and she went on: “I saw his eyes and they were hazel and he had extremely long eyelashes and his eyebrows were brown.”
The girl described him as “broad shouldered” and slim and told the jury: “He had a similar accent to mine – it was posh.”
During the trial the court was told it was in August 2018 that he had first contacted the girl her through a social media site and during the summer, they had text conversations about school and exams.
The court was told in one message he told her: “I mean if you are interested I might be able to make life a lil bit better.”
She replied and told him: “I’m sorry but I have a boyfriend if that’s what you are implying. I’m all up for being friends though.”
He is said to have then said “Ay that’s fine I didn’t know so I thought I’d see if you were interested before getting to know someone else if you get my meaning, no hard feelings.”
Continuing her evidence to the jury, his victim told the jury “He started to be quite vigorous and he put his arm round the back of my neck and he started to try to force me down to where his bits were and stuff.
“But I stopped, I just said ‘No, look I don’t want this’.”
Mr Shaw said in his opening of the case to the jury that this had been an attempt to “orally rape” the girl.
He said once the attempt had failed, he didn’t persist, but added: “The prosecution say it was nevertheless an attempt.”
Interested in Special Forces
The jury was told both girls were taken to the alleged victim’s bedroom where her friend managed to kick the defendant in the groin and shortly afterwards they were able to escape from the house.
He was asked why he had dressed all in black and put in the balaclava and said he had wanted to create the image of a special forces soldier.
“I was already interested in the Special Forces,” he told the court, and said he had considered joining them but thought his eyesight and asthma might be a barrier.
He said he had always played special forces computer games.
He denied he had touched the girl’s bottom or her breasts and denied he had tried to push her heard towards his groin area.