A Bedford teenage boy who dressed up like an SAS soldier and went to the home of a young girl to sexually assault her, after she spurned his Snapchat advances was jailed for eight years and four months today (4 October)
Previously, on 4 July, Irvine, was found guilty at Luton Crown Court of trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence and sexual assault. He was acquitted of a charge of attempted rape.
Judge Barbara Mensah told 19 year old Aaron Irvine: “It’s quite clear you have developed an obsession for the girl. You had an obsession with her and you were infatuated with her.”
Irvine, who was just 18 at the time, had dressed all in black and wore a sinister balaclava and latex black gloves.
On his back was a black rucksack containing everything he thought he would need for his warped mission.
He was armed with a hunting knife and a lock knife. He had a length of rope, tape, a black utility belt, a shoe lace, wet wipes, a lock pick and a change of clothing.
The items he had with him that day were described by his victim as a “rape kit”. She added that she could sum up the day when he came to her home in three words: “revulsion, anger and fear”.
There were even surveillance photos he had taken on his mobile phone of her secluded home in the mid-Bedfordshire village where she lived with her family.
Passing sentence at Luton crown court Judge Mensah told Irvine: “This was a properly thought out and planned operation. It’s quite clear you are a dangerous individual.”
She said that to have armed himself “commando style” he had set out to “fulfil his dream” of being alone with the girl.
But the judge said what he hadn’t counted on that day was that her 17-year-old friend would be at the house.
The judge praised the actions of the friend that day who, despite being assaulted by Irvine, had continued to defend her friend and kicked him between his legs.
Irvine, who is now 19, of Thor Drive, Bedford appeared in court to be sentenced after a jury found him guilty in July of trespass with intent to commit a sexual offence and sexual assault.
He admitted common assault on the girl’s friend and possessing an offensive weapon.
He was acquitted of a charge of attempted rape and sentence had been adjourned for the preparation of reports to assess the danger he poses.
It was in August of 2018 that he had first contacted the victim through a social media site and they had text conversations about school and exams.
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.”
Then on the afternoon of 2 January this year, Irvine 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 there and they were watching TV in her bedroom.
The day before, 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 the court 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 with her friend present.
She said she pleaded with him to take any property he wanted, including iPhones and iPads, 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 after the friend kicked Irvine in the groin.
Irvine ran off through a local wood and changed out of a black jumper he had been wearing and put on 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 victim and his visit to her home on January 2.
“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 for a forced compliance?”
He said he knew from the Snapchat messages that no boyfriend would be on the property.
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 Irvine 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 described how he traced the area of her left breast with his hand “quite hard.”
The girl described him as “broad shouldered” and slim and told the jury: “He had a similar accent to mine – it was posh.”
In the witness box Irvine said he had only gone to the girl’s home with the intention of scaring her.
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.
Detective Constable Kate Robinson, who investigated the case, said: “I am pleased we were able to get justice for these two girls and Irvine will spend more than eight years in jail.
“He has shown himself as a sinister sexual predator, who intended to cause extreme fear and degrade these young victims.
“He is a dangerous individual who displayed deeply disturbing behaviour which escalated into his planned actions.
“I commend the bravery of the two girls who came forward, and thank their families for their commitment and support in this case.
“We have worked tirelessly together to get this conviction and I hope the result means the girls can move forward with their lives.”
As part of their investigation, officers established that Irvine may have been able to locate the girls by using location services on social media.
“It is so important that people are aware of what they are sharing on social media,” added DC Robinson.
“Parents and carers in particular should not be afraid to talk about this subject with their children and ensure that they are safe online.”