A vicious, terrifying pedophile who raped young girls in derelict buildings and storm drains throughout Sydney has been sentenced to at least seven and a half years in jail.
Richard Crowe was around 20 years old when he carried out his predatory attacks on five girls – some as young as nine – between 1989 and 1991.
Crowe often spotted his victims while lurking in parks or outside run-down buildings and would threaten to kill them if they screamed or told anyone what he had done to them.
He was sentenced in the Sydney District Court on Thursday to a maximum 12 years in jail after earlier pleading guilty to numerous offences, including five counts of kidnapping, two counts of sexual intercourse without consent and two counts of aggravated sexual assault.
Despite the offences occurring 25 years ago, Crowe wasn’t arrested until last August after the Cold Case Justice Project (CCJP) took up the matter and linked him to the cases through DNA.
It has since been revealed how in 1989, he grabbed a nine-year-old girl as she walked alone to Sunday school from her western Sydney home.
With his hand over her mouth to stop her from screaming, Crowe took her into a derelict building and raped her, the court heard.
About a year later, he stopped a 12-year-old girl as she rode a bike through a park with her brother looking for their friends.
Crowe flashed a knife with a 10-inch blade, telling the boy to leave as he dragged the girl by her wrist into bushes near a storm drain.
The victim was forced to strip and lie down.
“She told him she would do anything or give him anything if he didn’t hurt her,” Acting Judge Anthony Garling said in sentencing Crowe.
Crowe gruesomely assaulted her in a similar manner to his other victims.
The oldest victim, 17, was raped as she walked to a north Sydney train station to commute to work.
“He had one hand over her mouth and the other over her throat,” Judge Garling said, adding that the abuse was terrifying and vicious.
“It was predatory behaviour.”
Crowe, the judge said, told her: “If you don’t shut up I have a knife and I will kill you.”
During the assault Crowe hit her leg with a rock and after the forced sexual intercourse he told her to go away and ran off.
The 45-year-old has a history of similar offences and was in 1991 imprisoned on charges of abduction, indecent assault and aggravated indecency.
He also has a range of mental health issues and was diagnosed as a pedophile, Judge Garling said.
Because Crowe pleaded guilty at an early opportunity his sentence was discounted by 25 per cent.
It was backdated to begin when he was taken into custody last August.
Crowe will be eligible for parole in February 2022.
After the sentence was handed down on Thursday and Crowe was being taken back into custody, a supporter of one of his victims yelled “look over here you piece of s***.”
Crowe, who stared blankly at the judge while being sentenced, didn’t show any emotion and walked slowly away with his long hair hanging on slouched shoulders.