Clown raped teenager four times in back of van on kids entertainment ‘road trip’

A professional clown raped a teenager four times in the back of his van during a “road trip”.

Stanley Smiles, 67, has finally been jailed more than two decades since committing his sickening attacks on a girl in the 1990s.

After struggling to forget about the traumatising incidents which she tried to put behind her over the years, his victim finally reported the monster in 2018.

Smiles raped the teenager in his work van when parked at different locations in the North East and Merseyside, The Northern Echo reports.

The balloon artist and magician struck at Hamsterley Forest, at his home at the time, in North Shields, and during a stay at the home of another children’s entertainer, where the victim says she was also raped by another, unknown man.

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Durham Crown Court heard that it was not until both of the victim's parents had died that she went to the police, having kept it a secret from them.

Unknown to the victim's late parents however, she received counselling and sought medication to help her sleep as a result of the deep psychological trauma.

Supported by her community psychiatric nurse, she decided to take legal action three years ago.

Smiles who was in his late 40s when launching the attacks, was tracked down by police to Chillingham Castle, in Northumberland, where he had ditched a wig and face paint to become a fisheries manager for the Wakefield family.

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The depraved ex-kids entertainer denied the allegations and in January pleaded not guilty to four counts of rape and one of indecent assault.

But the jury at his trial in September, unanimously found him guilty of all the offences on the fifth day of the hearing.

Smiles of Wooler, in Northumberland, appeared for his sentencing hearing on Friday via video link from nearby Durham Prison where he was sentenced to 17 years behind bars.

Ian West, prosecuting, read the victim's lengthy impact statement which said how going to court forced her to relive her experiences and face accusations of her lying.

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As a result the trial caused her depression and anxiety to worsen but Smiles' sentencing has at least brought her some relief and sense of closure.

Judge James Adkin told Smiles that the "sexual exploitation" in his victim's youth caused a devastating degree of damage to her life.

As well as 17 years in jail, Smiles was registered as a sex offender, subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and handed a restraining order from the victim for life.

If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice on 08 08 16 89 111 or visit their website, www.victimsupport.org.uk.

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