A mum begged a judge not to send her rapist foster son to prison – saying he needed ‘human contact and love’.

The man, 20s, who we are not naming in order to protect the identity of his victim, molested his foster sister as she pretended to sleep in her bunk bed over a weekend in May.

In the weeks before, he suggested in texts to the teen girl that they could be boyfriend and girlfriend after she turned 16.

“It won’t be incest because you are my step-sister,” he wrote – adding that she should delete the messages.

Prosecutor Russell Pyne told Oxford Crown Court that paramedics were called on May 18 as the defendant was in the middle of a mental health crisis. The man, who had trashed his bedroom, admitted to one of the ambulance crew members that he’d sexually assaulted his sister.

In a letter to the judge and read to the court, the defendant apologised for what he’d done. He said he had lost his way in life. “I’m not a bad person,” he said. “I knew that if I did tell anyone I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself. I knew [the paramedic] would have to tell the police.”

The defendant pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to rape and sexual assault by penetration. He had no previous convictions.

In a tearful victim personal statement read to the court, the victim and defendant’s foster mum said she had struggled to get her son – adopted at a young age – help for mental health difficulties throughout his life.

The family did not want him sent to prison or put on the sex offenders’ register, adding that they wanted him to get the help and support he needed.

“We are a family, we are all victims. Please do not punish us all. We all need each other. We need help, not punishment,” she begged the judge.

In mitigation, Paul Mason asked the judge to take into account his client’s age, lack of previous convictions and remorse. Since being remanded he had done a number of courses in prison and was an 'enhanced' prisoner.

Judge Nigel Daly said he was impressed by the victim personal statement read out by the defendant’s mother. “It is heart breaking to hear what she has had to say and she clearly loves you and it is clear that your family does as well.”

He jailed the defendant for five years, taking into account his early plea, mental health problems and the conditions in prison during the pandemic. The man will be on the sex offenders’ register for life.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For news updates straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on news@nqo.com or 01865 425 445.