A professional golfer from Linslade has been jailed for 14 and a half years after abusing three young girls.
26-year-old Samuels of Melfort Drive was sentenced today at Luton Crown Court following his conviction for four counts of rape against one of the teenagers on February 28.
The young woman had been forced to give evidence at a retrial following a hung jury verdict on August 30 last year. Samuels was convicted of abusing the two other victim during the original trial.
Today, Judge Lynn Tayton QC told him: “ Because you engaged in predatory and manipulative grooming behaviour and showed a particular interest in pubescent young girls, you pose a risk to teenage females.
“It seems to me there has been evidence of a long-standing interest in young girls – that interest being of a sexual nature.”
Samuels’ offending began when he befriended his first victim who was described as a vulnerable 13-year-old. In the first instance, Samuels assaulted her by pushing her against a wall and abusing her.
On another occasion, after the girl gave Samuels money to buy cigarettes for her, he refused to hand them over and forced her to perform oral sex. Samuels went on to “forcibly” rape her on several occasions.
Judge Tayton added: “She described how she came to feel powerless and scared of you, so that she would comply with demands you made.
“I’ve heard victim personal statement. She describes in these trying to take her own life.
“She feels her own behaviour was affected by your abuse. She blames you with ongoing problems she has with depression and long-term anxiety. She has described how she struggles with day-to-day living.”
Samuels’ two other victims were both 14 when he began his abuse. One of them was pushed against a wall as Samuels pushed his hand down her trousers. The girl said that he urged her not to tell anyone as it would ruin his golf career.
The final victim was also groomed by Samuels, who inappropriately put his hands around her waist and pushed her towards him. He also sent her pictures of his naked torso on social media. The offences finally came to light after she told her parents.
Samuels was charged with the offences in December 2015, denying them all except for the inappropriate social media messages with the last victim.
This afternoon, he was sentenced to a total of 14 and a half years in prison with an extended five years on licence if the parole board considers him to still pose a risk.
In addition, he was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life and made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order restricting any contact with minors.
Det Con Ben Stone, investigating officer, said: “Although the sentence cannot compensate for the anguish that Samuels’ victims have suffered at his hands, I hope that it can bring them some level of closure, and I’d like to thank them for their incredible bravery in coming forward to reveal this abuse.
“I hope that it gives others the confidence in knowing that they do not have to suffer in silence – we will support them, and justice will be done.”
Det Insp Grant Maxted said: “Everyone has a responsibility to help tackle child exual exploitation and I’d urge everyone to take a moment to learn about the signs so that you know what to look for, and if you have any concerns about inappropriate behaviour then please do report it.”
Speaking after the case, an NSPCC spokesman added: “Samuels knew how to manipulate his victims in order to gain their trust and ultimately use them for his own twisted pleasure.
“In pursuing his devious campaign of abuse he shattered the lives of three young girls who we hope have received all appropriate support to recover from their ordeal.”