A SERIAL rapist from Ellesmere Port, described as a "total danger to young women", has received a life sentence at Chester Crown Court.

Peter Neild, 52, whose most recent address was Chester Road, Little Sutton before being jailed in 2022, may never be released from prison unless there is a "sea change" in his risk towards women and children, Honorary Recorder of Chester Judge Steven Everett said.

Neild was being sentenced at the crown court on Monday, January 29, after being found guilty in December last year of raping an 18-year-old woman in 1994 at a Prince's Trust course in the Lake District.

The judge said Neild had, in his view, gone on that course to target young women for sexual abuse, ignoring his victim's "desperate protestations" as went on to rape her, before 'getting his explanation in first' by boasting about the sexual intercourse to others later, believing his victim would be too terrified to report the crime.

Turning to the complainant, who watched the sentencing shielded from Neild's view, the judge said she was "not alone" in not finding themselves able to report what had happened for many years, having dealt with so many similar cases.

Prosecuting, Myles Wilson read out the victim personal statement in which she said she had never felt able to trust men since the "serious crime which should never have happened", and had lost her self-confidence.

When she went to report the matter to police, there was an initial relief. She found it "humiliating" talking about it to her family, but the family were "incredibly supportive".

Mr Wilson relayed the defendant's previous convictions, which the judge said was "as bad a record as I have seen" without already receiving a life sentence.

In 1990, Neild raped a 15-year-old girl at a fairground, and a 20-year-old woman in an alleyway, for which he received seven years at a young offenders institution. Judge Everett said if he had been sentenced today for those offences, he would have more likely received an extended prison sentence.

In 1996, Neild received 12 months in prison for sexual intercourse with a girl aged under 16. In 2004, he received an eight-year sentence for three counts of indecent assault on two 14-year-old girls in the same incident.

In 2016, he breached his sex offender notification requirements, and in 2020 received 16 weeks for sexual assault on a woman in a hotel.

In May 2022, Neild was handed an extended sentence of 10 years, 10 months plus five years for talking to what he thought was a 14-year-old girl online – actually a decoy – with a view to meeting and having sex. He had also filmed himself sexually assaulting a four-year-old girl, with indecent images found on his phone. The extended sentence meant Neild was eligible for parole from April 21, 2029.

The judge added he had not been impressed by Neild's cross-examination during the trial, where he had given "flippant" responses to why he had committed his previous offences, adding: "I don't realise I am doing it."

A probation officer reported Neild was a "very high risk of serious sexual harm", with the defendant having dismissed some of his earlier offending and blaming the victims.

The court heard there had been another side to Neild, who was looking to go on courses to address his behaviour so he could "gain some normality" when he would ultimately be released.

But the judge said Neild had been on at least two programmes to address such offending and had carried on committing serious crimes.

Judge Everett, who had been the trial judge, said Neild was "rightly convicted" by the jury" on "overwhelming evidence".

He said: "You are a total danger to young women. You became a total danger to young children as well. All your life you have been a danger to women generally. I genuinely cannot recall a case where someone has received so many sexual offences [on their record] without losing their liberty for life; yours is as bad a record as I have seen.

"No woman or child is safe with you.

"The reality is unless you change, you will remain in custody for the rest of your life."

Neild was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 11 years, eight months, plus 83 days in prison before he could become eligible for parole. He is on the sex offenders register for life and banned from working with children.

After Neild was led to the cells, the judge addressed the complainant: "It does not bring back all those years, of misery; I hope it gives a little sense of closure.

"I hope you will feel you have played your part in [ensuring] that a very dangerous man has received a sentence of life imprisonment."