‘Vulnerable’ Woman Aided Rapist

A woman who helped her boyfriend make a getaway after he kidnapped and raped a teenage girl from Wrexham has been given a 12-month suspended sentence.

Tracy Ann Bishop, 35, from Stockport, Greater Manchester, drove across north Wales to pick up Alan Grant when he was being named by police as a suspect.

Grant, 49, also known as Alan Weston, was jailed for life in January. Bishop, who admitted assisting an offender, was described as vulnerable to Grant and “in his thrall”.

Chester Crown Court heard Bishop drove to Menai Bridge to collect Grant, who was on the run from police after abducting the 15-year-old girl. Police had earlier spoken to her to say that Grant, also from Stockport, was a suspect in the case.

The court was told on Monday that after picking up Grant, Bishop took him to Stockport and let him stay at her flat, but did not tell police. However, once she was arrested, she was fully co-operative and offered to help entrap Weston.

In January 2007, Bishop pleaded guilty to assisting an offender. Sentencing her, Judge Stephen Clarke accepted that Bishop had a history of mental health problems which made her vulnerable and he said Grant could see that vulnerability.

Ordering her to do 150 hours of community service, Judge Clarke said: “He showed affection you craved, you were effectively under his control and reliant upon him. Some of his past he shared with you, but he didn’t tell you the truth.”

Grant had been jailed in 1991 for raping a woman, after beating her husband and locking him in a cupboard at their home in West Sussex.

Last month, a friend of Grant’s was jailed for a year for giving police false information about the Wrexham case and tipping off Grant that police were searching for him.