Eight-year jail sentence for Dunstable child rapist

'The victim has shown courage and strength of character far beyond her young years'

Monday, 26th July 2021, 2:48 pm
Updated Monday, 26th July 2021, 2:50 pm

A man from Dunstable has been sentenced to eight years behind bars for raping and sexually assaulting a young girl.

Matthew Husband, 29, from Bolsover, Chesterfield, who lived in Dunstable at the time of the incident, was sentenced at The Royal Courts of Justice in London on Thursday (22 July), after being found guilty by a majority verdict of rape and sexual assault.

On 23 February last year, Husband gave the girl alcohol, and believing she was incapacitated, sexually assaulted and then raped her.

Matthew Husband. Photo: Bedfordshire Police.

The victim reported the incident immediately and Husband was arrested shortly after.

In her personal statement the victim said: “Sometimes I get so sad and scared I don’t want to leave my bedroom or talk to anyone. I am so uncomfortable in a room full of people whether I know them or not. I am too scared to trust anyone.

“But I am trying to get better because I won’t let him continue to ruin my life and my future, and although I am struggling, I will keep on trying.”

PC Benjamin Robertson, from Bedfordshire Police’s Protecting Vulnerable Persons Unit, who investigated, said: “Husband denied the offences in interviews, and forced the victim and her family to undergo a trial, and I am satisfied that he has now received a prison sentence.

“The victim has shown courage and strength of character far beyond her young years and can now concentrate on what the future holds for her.

“This hasn’t been easy for her or her family to deal with made all the more difficult by Husband’s refusal to admit what he did to her, but we are supporting her.

“Child sexual abuse is a most horrendous experience – it not only ruins their young years, but stays with them through into adulthood. We will never tolerate this type of crime in our county and will do all we can to support victims and put these perpetrators behind bars.

“If anything has happened to you, no matter how long ago, come forward and tell us and we will do everything we can to get justice for you, and support you.”

Victims of rape and sexual assault can receive support and guidance from Bedfordshire Police and partner agencies, including the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), as well as support through the criminal investigation process.

Reports of sexual assault, even if non-recent, can be made to the police by calling 101. Always call 999 in an emergency.

You can also contact Bedfordshire’s Sexual SARC the Emerald Centre, by visiting the Emerald Centre or by emailing [email protected], or alternatively calling 01234 842750.

If you have been affected by crime, Signpost offers free and confidential support to victims in Bedfordshire, whether it has been reported to police or not, and irrespective of where and when the crime occurred.

Contact 0800 0282 887 or visit Signpost for Bedfordshire for further information.