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Chatham couple took woman into cellar and subjected her to ‘vile’ rape ordeal

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Original article from Kent Live

A mum of four and her lover from Chatham have been convicted of rape and jailed for a total of 21 years for their appalling crimes.

Samantha Hart, 32, her 22-year-old boyfriend Charlie Olding, and his then 17-year-old cousin Lee Kitchiner subjected their victim to 'vile abuse, intimidation and humiliation', a court heard.

Hart was said to have led the violent and sexual torment, motivated by a false belief that within days of suffering a miscarriage, Olding had cheated on her with the woman.

Read more: Shocking CCTV footage shows two men smashing car windows in Medway

She summoned the victim to her home in the early hours and, once in the cellar, reacted 'abusively and aggressively' over several hours before forcing her to perform a sex act on Olding.

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More than 30 'distressing and explicit' video clips of the woman's ordeal in September last year were found on Olding's phone, although at times Kitchiner was the one filming.

The footage, which also showed her being forced to carry out a sex act on Hart, was played to a jury at their trial.

As well as showing her on her knees pleading, being slapped to the face, and kicked in the stomach, the sound of laughter as Kitchiner 'assisted and encouraged' could also be heard, the court was told.

Hart also threatened to stab the woman with a Rambo-style knife and one was later found by police in the property.

Hart and Olding, both of Hartington Street, Chatham, were unanimously convicted of rape and causing a person to engage in sexual activity.

Both admitted a third charge of assault causing actual bodily harm.

Kitchiner, now 18 and of Weston Road, Strood, was found unanimously guilty of the sexual activity offence. He was cleared of rape and assault.

Hart was sentenced to a total of 11 years' imprisonment and Olding was jailed for 10 years.

Both will have to serve two-thirds of their prison terms before they can apply for parole.

Kitchiner was given a two-year custodial sentence suspended for two years, with 200 hours of unpaid work, 30 rehabilitation sessions, and a 12-month tagged curfew between 7pm and 7am.

Passing sentence, Judge Philip Statman said Hart had behaved in a 'domineering way, exercising power' over the victim in what was 'bullying of the most savage kind'.

He accepted she would have been under 'emotional distress' from her miscarriage but said her 'misplaced view' she had been cheated on led to her 'losing all moral compass'.

"This was rape against a background of violence and in the course of those events you, Ms Hart, were orchestrating matters," said the judge.

"Each of you made callous, disgusting remarks about how this act (rape) should be performed.

"It caused your victim to be violated and she felt embarrassed and disgusted by what she was being told to do.

"This was a grave attack of a sexual nature perpetrated on your victim.

"The impact upon her has been considerable…. Your behaviour was an absolute disgrace."

Judge Statman told Olding he had been an 'active and willing' participant, while Kitchiner's role was one of 'encouragement of a serious humiliation'.

The judge added the footage showing Hart's 'interrogation' of the victim 'could have been a set piece from a very ugly B film'.

Hart, described as 'emotionally immature', has not seen her children since her arrest, the court heard.

The victim told the jury how Hart had accused her of engaging in sex acts with Olding, demanding she swore on her (Hart's) dead son's life that she had not.

But Hart then pushed and smacked the woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, took her phone, throwing it onto a nearby railway track, and ordered her into the basement.

Prosecutor Daniel Stevenson told the court threats were made to burn down the woman's family home, while Kitchiner laughed as Hart continued with her 'seriously cruel bullying' over a significant period of time.

At one stage, the victim even offered them money and said she would kill herself as she begged to be left alone.

Mr Stevenson said it was against this background of threats, verbal and physical assaults, including punches and kicks, that the defendants forced the woman to engage in sexual activity with first Olding and then Hart.

The woman told police she was crying as Hart threatened her with violence if she did not comply.

"She was in no position to voluntarily consent to what was happening in view of the threats and violence that had been perpetrated against her shortly before the sexual acts occurred," said the prosecutor.

"The defendants persisted and ultimately she felt as though she had no choice, so she did as she was ordered to do.

"She felt disgusted, embarrassed and violated by what had happened."

The court heard she was eventually able to flee the house and contacted police. She suffered injuries to her face and arm.

The jury heard that a WhatsApp message sent by Olding to Hart during the violence read 'Slap her more lool I'm bored'.

Olding later told police following his arrest that his girlfriend had been 'angry' and assaulted the woman 'lots of times'.

He claimed that the sex act performed on him under Hart's instruction was against his wishes.

In a video-recorded impact statement made to police earlier this year, the victim spoke of being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and wanting to end her life.

"It has made me feel worthless, low, not to trust anyone. I'm not the independent person I used to be.

"I feel so weak and keep getting nightmares, cold sweats, thinking they are going to come through my door," she said.

"I keep seeing faces of them and things in my head telling me I'm not safe. I just want to be normal again, happy, and just try and forget everything.

"I just cry myself to sleep and think if I kill myself would it be a better place. I don't want to be that scared, frightened person."

Catherine Donnelly, defending Hart, said the impact of her miscarriage and her sense of betrayal had created 'the perfect storm', leading to the 'catastrophic' events for which she now wished to apologise to the victim.

Frank McGrath, defending Olding, told the court he had played a 'subordinate' role to his lover and, despite her assertions to the court, they were no longer together.

Judge Statman said he could take the 'exceptional' course of suspending Kitchiner's sentence by reason of his limited role, age and rehabilitation prospects.

Original Article