A Dudley garage owner has been jailed after admitting sexually assaulting a client and then intimidating her into dropping the charges against him.
Robert Parke, aged 52, from Valmour, Bromley in Pensnett was sentenced to four years and four months imprisonment at Wolverhampton Crown Court on 12 January for sexual assault and perverting the course of justice.
The sentence also includes three unconnected counts of sexual activity to which Parke also pleaded guilty.
He was also placed on the sex offenders register for life.
The court heard how Parke, who owned the former RP Autos in Brierley Hill, admitted sexually assaulting a woman in May 2016, after she bought a car from his garage.
He then continued to harass the woman, even after she reported the assault to police. Parke intimidated her and forced her to sign a false statement dropping the charges against him.
Parke then tried to evade justice by moving addresses around the country. His luck ran out after officers placed him on the force’s Most Wanted website, and following information that was given to police, Parke eventually handed himself in.
Detective Constable Mike Clarke, from the force’s sexual offence team, said: “This man abused his position to prey on a woman who had bought a car from his garage. He then intimidated her and harassed her into dropping the charges. Now he has been put behind bars and will be placed on the sex offender register for life.
“I would like to take the opportunity to commend this woman’s bravery in coming forward initially and then throughout the investigation.
“I hope today’s sentence will bring her some comfort as she continues to recover from her ordeal.
“I would like to take this opportunity to urge any other people who wish to report offences to come forward. We treat all reports of sexual assault very seriously and have a team of specially trained officers who can help and support those affected throughout the entire process. There are a range of support services available, not just from police, but a raft of other agencies.”
To contact police call 101 or for further information visit http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/advice-centre/help-and-advice/rape-and-sexual-violence/index.aspx
Source:: West Midlands Police News