A serial sexual predator and Leicester musician who preyed on schoolgirl fans after befriending them on Facebook has today been jailed for 17 years. Cassius Povey, who was a well known figure on Leicester’s live music scene, has been locked up for a catalogue of 19 crimes against nine young girls – five of whom he raped.
One victim became pregnant at just 14 and had an abortion without telling her parents. Another was tied to a bed and hit with a cane.
Povey also sat and watched one distraught child take and overdose before making her vomit – and then raped her as she lay on a bed semi-conscious and confused. Eight of the victims were aged between 14 and 15. The ninth was 19-years-old when he raped her in a park.
Leicester Crown Court was told he had “no respect” for his troubled and vulnerable victims. He was motivated purely by self-gratification as he “controlled and manipulated” them to satisfy his desires.
Povey won his victims trust with outpourings of affection and repeatedly telling them how “beautiful and amazing” they were. He told two of his victims after he committed violent assaults that he suffered from schizophrenia and that he could not control the actions of his “evil twin.”
The offences were committed when he was between 17 and 22. The court heard that he was finally “outed” by a former victim, who exposed his wrongdoing on Facebook.
He attempted a public apology, but the police were notified of the social media comments and investigated. Povey formerly lived in a bedsit in the Aylestone Road area of Leicester – before fleeing to live Elsenham Road, Grimsby, where he was arrested in July 2020.
He was convicted at a recent trial of eight offences of rape, which he had denied. He had already pleaded guilty to nine counts of sexual activity with a child, one of travelling to meet a child after grooming and one offence of inciting a girl to engage in sexual activity, between 2010 and 2016.
‘You were arrogant and showed no remorse’
Sentencing, Judge Robert Brown said: “The victims were vulnerable females and eight of them were under 16 at the time of these offences, all with mental health problems and difficult relationships at home with parents. You were a prominent and popular local musician and they liked you.
“You gained their trust and they unloaded their problems on to you and you displayed sympathy, before abusing them. Alcohol and drugs were used in some cases.
“I find you arrogant, you showed no remorse during your trial and maintained all your sexual encounters were with the victims’ consent. You might express remorse now, but you didn’t then. You’ve been in denial. I find you to be manipulative and cunning.
“These girls were mostly naive with no sexual experience, many being virgins. You plied them with alcohol and introduced a number of them to drugs with the aim of controlling them.
“You targeted them by befriending them through Facebook and social media and it wasn’t difficult because they were fans of your music – you had a significant following. Mr Povey, you’re a predator who used emotional manipulation against them all.
“You pretended to two of them you had schizophrenia to exert control over them to satisfy yourself sexually. It was a life-style for you. You had no respect for any of your victims – it was all for self-gratification. You were exposed on social media by one of the victims, who displayed courage and others shared their stories too.”
Serena Gates, mitigating, said the defendant had no previous convictions and he had not offended for the last six years.
She said he was a “young adult” at the time and his upbringing lacked proper guidance. Povey was said to have suffered from depression and anxiety since 2013. He had mild autism and an unspecified borderline personality disorder – but did not have a severe mental illness, the court was told.
He wrote a letter of remorse to the judge, who said he presented as a “dangerous” offender who posed a risk of future harm. He added a three year licence period extension to the 17 year prison sentence.
Survivors ‘showed incredible strength’
Afterwards, officer in case, DC Kev Sharkey from the police‘s Signal team, said: “While this sentence will not change the experiences these young girls went through, I hope the fact that Povey will be behind bars for such a significant amount of time, offers some comfort.
“The sentencing today has been at the end of a long court process and all the survivors have shown incredible strength, patience and dignity throughout. Their evidence has strengthened the case against Povey, making sure he serves the time behind bars that he deserves.” The officer said he believed there may still be other victims of Povey who have not yet come forward.
The CPS issued a statement saying Povey was known to socialise at the city’s Clock Tower, a popular place for young people who followed indie music meet up. He was said to have used his status as an older person and a guitarist in a band to impress them and appear like someone they should admire.
Once he got to know them, he groomed them and exploited their vulnerability. In some cases, he went on to have consenting relationships with his victims after he had raped them. In others, he raped them while in a relationship.
Matthew Thomas from the CPS said: “Cassius Povey preyed relentlessly on young, vulnerable girls, taking advantage of their vulnerability. He knew his lifestyle as a musician, with a wide circle of friends, would be appealing and he exploited this.
“Despite appearing friendly and even empathetic, he had no thought for the well-being of his victims, taking what he wanted from them regardless of the impact on their young lives. His age and status put him in a position of trust to these young people, which he abused, ruthlessly grooming them and taking steps to convince them that he was not abusing them.
“We set out to demonstrate that in all these instances there was no consent, regardless of what happened between them beforehand or afterwards. These survivors have had to revisit some of the darkest times in their lives.
“Povey’s actions had a profound impact on them and I am grateful that they have come forward, explained the awful reality of what happened to them and that we have been able to show Cassius Povey for what he is – a serious sexual predator. Today’s sentence reflects the level of manipulation and abuse these survivors suffered at Cassius Povey’s hands.”