Rapist truck driver posed as teenager before raping girls

A FILEY truck driver posed as a teenage boy to groom two girls on the internet before raping them, a court heard.

Eugene Molloy, 47, of Doran Close, is facing a lengthy prison sentence after pleading guilty to seven counts of rape at Preston Crown Court this week.

The court heard Molloy, who adopted the name "Deano" online, formed relationships with the girls, firstly through a social networking site then through MSN messenger and mobile phone contact.

Over time he told the girls his father was threatening and assaulting him, at the same time making the girls believe he was their boyfriend – even though they had never met.

Prosecutor Nick Kennedy said when Molloy went on to meet the girls – one in Preston and one in Leeds – he pretended to be Deano's dad and said he would kill his "son" if they did not have sex with him.

It was alleged he abused the girls in hotels in Preston and Leeds and in woodland and the cab of Molloy's lorry near Preston Grasshoppers Rugby Club.

Following his arrest, he denied all charges brought against him but on the second day of his trial he admitted five counts of raping the first teenager when she was aged between 14 and 16 and two counts of raping the other girl when she was 17.

However, Mr Kennedy said these were "specimen cases" which did not cover the full extent of the abuse the girls suffered. Judge Edward Slinger told the jury they need not return a verdict on 24 further charges.

DS Paul Thompson, of Filey CID, said Molloy first came to the attention of police in Filey after he was reported over a period of time using a laptop in his car as it was parked in Clarence Drive.

He said: "On one occasion, PC Mark Proctor was on patrol and saw this guy. When he spoke to him he noticed he was drunk and trying to hide his laptop, so he arrested him for being drunk in charge of a car and seized his laptop, thinking he might have been trying to access someone's wi-fi connection."

It then transpired he was of interest to police in Preston for "grooming" girls, and a close liaison developed between the two forces.

DS Thompson added: "We managed to trace the children – some in our area – and I did a lot of work liaising with the schools and producing the names of other young girls we thought he'd been grooming."

Molloy was eventually caught coming off a ferry from Ireland.

The father of the younger victim, who survived her ordeal to achieve impressive GCSE results, said: "When we found out what had been going on it was absolutely devastating because there were no outward signs. When I spoke to other parents it seemed like going on her mobile phone was normal behaviour.

"There was nothing unusual about her going out at night and she was always back at a reasonable time."

He added: "What hurt us most was the realisation that our daughter had lost her childhood – he had stolen it.

"I would like to see more education, particularly at secondary school, to alert children that just because there is a picture of a 17-year-old lad that doesn't necessarily mean that is who they are talking to.

"It is not only her education, it is the social effect of people pointing fingers and starting rumours.

"Obviously we hope justice will be done and although she will never get over what has happened she can begin a new page."

Molloy's guilty plea spared the girls the ordeal of giving evidence against him in court.

After the case, DC Ian Best, of Preston CID, said: "Molloy is a dangerous predator who preyed on young women.

"He has destroyed the innocent lives of two young victims and has now pleaded guilty.

We are delighted because we expect a lengthy custodial sentence."

Molloy will be sentenced in September.