By Sophie Wheeler
THE younger brother of a serial rapist serving 10 life sentences in jail for terrorising a community has been ordered to complete a sex offender treatment programme after he was caught grooming a 15-year-old girl.
James Downworth, 32, from Eastlea, Denton, was arrested after swapping vile and explicit messages with the youngster with a view to them having a future sexual relationship.
One text from him suggested he would make her engage in oral sex with him and said he would have intercourse with her as she lay face down with his hand covering her mouth.
Police were called after the girl, who lives in a care home, turned up unexpectedly at the home of her sister, who noticed Downworth outside. He initially claimed he thought the girl was older but later admitted knowing she was 15.
At Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester, Downworth admitted inciting an under-age girl to engage in sexual activity and was told to enroll on the programme as part of a 16-month jail term suspended for two years.
He was further ordered to sign the sex offender register for 10 years and abide by the terms of a sexual harm prevention order.
In 2013, Downworth’s older brother Adam, now 38, was ordered to serve a minimum of 23 years in jail after he was convicted of attacks on five women after he used combat techniques he studied in Ninja Warrior books to overpower them as they walked home late at night.
Sentencing, Judge Paul Lawton told Downworth: “It is quite remarkable given you have a brother who is serving a substantial sentence for serious sexual offences, that you did not learn from that emotional and psychological damage to your family.
“Count yourself fortunate that you are not going straight into custody.”
He added: “You knew this girl was in care and was extremely vulnerable – and yet you preyed upon that vulnerability.
“She believed she was in a relationship with you. That may have been down to her age but girls deserve the full protection of the law from those who might prey on them, the likes of you.”
The court heard the investigation began after Downworth met the girl on up to three occasions in December 2017.
Justin Hayhoe, prosecuting, said: “She went missing from her care home and arrived at her sister’s house. She said she was running away but wouldn’t say why.
“She then seemed to be walking away to her father’s house nearby but her sister noticed a car with the defendant in it.
“The sister approached the driver and spoke to him and asked if he was with her and he confirmed he was. She told him a report had been made to the police and he drove off.
“Officers did arrive and returned the girl to the care home and a member of staff recovered a phone the following day and took a screen shot of messages sent from December 16 and 17. They were effectively arranging to meet and they included messages from the defendant saying ‘you won’t just s..k my c..k I would have to make you’ with emojis and kisses. She replied saying ‘make me’ with emojis and kisses.
“There were other messages exchanges of a sexual nature. There was reference that the defendant could take her to bed face down and: ‘f..k you whilst my hand is on your mouth’.
“He was clearly sending sexualised messages and he was arrested. He accepted he sent those messages but said he thought initially she was older but did ultimately accept he knew her to be 15.
“He knew she had been vulnerable as he had spoke about friends who had significant difficulties and that’s why he was trying to have some sort of input with this girl to assist her. Other messages were that she would be cold in a skirt when discussing what she should wear.
“He accepted sending messages but said there was no ulterior motive. It was simply flirting but didn’t accept what he was doing was wrong. He accepted meeting on two or three occasions.”
The court heard Downworth was of previous good character. Defence lawyer Denise Fitzpatrick said: “Although he did meet with her no sexual activity took place thereafter.”
At Adam Downworth’s trial in 2013, prosecutors said he cruised the streets in his Citroen Berlingo vehicle so he could deliberately spot and ambush lone victims who had been drinking or socialising with friends.
After selecting his target, office cleaner Downworth would park his van then stalk and creep up upon the women on secluded roads and public parks.
He then incapacitated them using choking or throttling manoeuvres he learnt from martial arts books before subjecting women to sadistic sexual attacks as they came around and pleaded for mercy.
One woman, who begged Downworth to take her purse and mobile phone, was told: “Look at my eyes. It’s all about teaching little bitches like you that they can’t walk on the street on their own when there’s men like me about.
“It’s not about the money. If it was about money, I’d have took it by now.’’
Another victim suffered several facial fractures after being kicked about the head and raped twice. She feared she would die during a 30-minute ordeal.
Downworth claimed five victims during his 10-month reign of terror across Stockport and Manchester before being captured in September 2012.
While he was on the loose, drunken and vulnerable women found walking alone at night were stopped and given lifts home by police in patrol cars to avoid them becoming his next victims.
During a raid officers found a library of martial arts books at the home of Downworth’s mother. Chapters on choking and strangling and how to stage surprise attacks were highlighted in pencil. One passage told how a combatant in a martial contest could be incapacitated in three seconds.
Downworth was convicted of 13 charges including rape, attempted rape, and grievous bodily harm. Police fear he may have claimed other victims who were too frightened to come forward.