Scarborough man Matthew Scaife shouts 'I didn't do it' as jury finds him guilty of raping and sexually abusing young girl

A child rapist is facing tens of years behind bars after a jury found him guilty of repeatedly raping a young girl.

Tuesday, 24th March 2020, 5:56 pm
Updated Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 8:20 am

Matthew Scaife, 35, subjected the victim to months of “systematic” sexual abuse at two properties in Scarborough and Malton.

The abuse lasted five months and included “multiple” rapes and sexual assaults, York Crown Court heard.

On Tuesday, the jury found Scaife guilty of four counts of raping the girl, as well as two counts of sexual assault, causing a child under 13 years of age to engage in sexual activity and two counts of making indecent photos of children.

York Crown Court

He was found not guilty of one count of sexual assault of a child.

Scaife, of Crown Terrace, Scarborough, began sobbing and banged his head against a wooden panel in the dock after the jury foreman returned the verdicts. Having to be restrained by prison officers, he shouted: “I didn’t do it!”

Judge Simon Hickey remanded Scaife in prison until sentence which was postponed for three weeks.

Mr Hickey told Scaife that over the next three weeks he would be considering whether Scaife posed a danger to the general public and specifically women.

If the judge were to make such a finding of dangerousness, Scaife could be given an indefinite prison sentence, meaning he will not be released until the Parole Board deems to him fit to be so.

“The only question for me is whether the sentence I impose is a determinate sentence or whether you are classified as a dangerous offender - (and) you may well be,” Mr Hickey told the defendant.

This could result in a “much longer” jail sentence whereby Scaife would remain behind bars until the Parole Board “deems you are no longer a danger to women”.

During the tense, two-week trial, the jury heard that the victim was reluctant to tell anyone about the abuse because she was so scared of Scaife.

Prosecutor Julian Jones said: “(This was) the systematic, serious sexual abuse of (the victim) in the months and weeks over the summer of 2016.”

The offences were reported to police in November 2016. Scaife was arrested but “completely” denied all allegations.

Police seized a hard drive from his flat and found 19 indecent images of children on the disc, none of which were of the victim.

Mr Jones said that in late September 2016 - at about the time the abuse came to an end - Scaife sent the girl threatening text messages about a video that had appeared on social media.

Scaife had previously contacted the girl through a social-media account with the username ‘Superman Loves Someone’.

The victim - described as a “shy, unconfident and pretty vulnerable child” - did not “tell everything” about the abuse in her initial disclosures to police because she was still afraid of Scaife, added Mr Jones.

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said that over the course of a five-month period, Scaife had forced her to perform lewd acts on him, as well as repeatedly raping and sexually assaulting her.

She said Scaife had told her he wanted to “break my virginity” and that he had raped her “routinely” on “multiple” occasions.

She frequently broke down in tears while giving evidence to the court via video link, causing a temporary halt to proceedings.

Mr Jones said the indecent images found on Scaife’s hard drive betrayed his “unusual sexual interest in children”.

He said that “all bar one” of the images had been deleted just a few days before Scaife was arrested.

Scaife - who has a previous conviction from 2008 for wounding with intent following a stabbing incident - had tried to hide the images in his hard drive’s recycle bin because he “feared that his guilty secret was in serious danger of catching up with him”.

No specific date has yet been set for sentence. The date will be fixed administratively.