Forty-eight-year-old Martin Sweeney, who also goes by Matt, has been jailed for seven years today (Friday 24th March) at Preston Crown Court after being found guilty of rape of a girl who was just 17 at the time. Sweeney drugged his victim and then raped her at the former Main Entrance nightclub.
During the sexual assault, the drugged victim pleaded for Sweeney to stop the assault. The next thing she remembered was waking up in bed with Sweeney at his house in the Thornton area.
The Court heard that the sexual assault happened over twenty years ago, but has had a lifelong impact on the victim, who suffered with dreadful flashbacks. Consequently, in 2004, the victim confided in her husband what and he eventually tracked down Sweeney.
Sweeney, 48, (pictured in featured photograph) of no fixed address was interviewed and subsequently charged with rape. Following a trial at Preston Crown Court earlier this year he was found guilty of rape.
Sweeney was today (Friday 24th March) jailed for seven years and ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life. He will have to serve two thirds of his sentence before being considered for parole.
Dave Hindle, of Lancashire Police, said: ‘Sweeney is a manipulative individual who plied his victim with drugs before raping her. Even though he knew full well what he had done, he caused further distress to the victim by making her relive her ordeal by running a trial. I want to praise the victim for the bravery and strength she has shown throughout the judicial process. This offence has clearly had a long-lasting impact on her and I hope knowing the man responsible is now in prison will bring her some form of closure.
I also hope this case and it’s outcome will encourage other victims of such appalling crimes to come forward – no matter how long ago it happened – knowing that they will be listened to, believed and that we will do everything in our power to put the perpetrator before the courts.’