'Dangerous predator' sexually assaulted 16-year-old girl and spread sick video on TikTok while on bail for rape

A ‘dangerous predator’ who was bailed by Lancashire Police after raping a woman during a night out in Ormskirk went onto attack a 16-year-old girl while awaiting trial.

Joshua Corless, 22, from Widnes, raped the young woman on January 11 2020 after offering to take her home safely.

She reported the incident to police and he was arrested, however, he claimed the sex had been consensual, and was released on bail.

On July 14 2020, while awaiting trial, he struck again, luring a 16-year-old girl into a wooded area near Widnes and forcing her to engage in sexual activity with his male friend while he filmed the vile incident on his phone.

Joshua Corless

He then posted the video on TikTok, a social network service with around 1bn monthly users.

After pleading not guilty to raping the first woman, he changed his plea to guilty following a day of evidence at his first trial, which took place in September 2021.

He pleaded not guilty to charges of taking and distributing indecent images of children and causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent at a second trial in February 2022, and was found guilty on both counts.

In a statement, the 16-year-old victim said that she has struggled with anxiety and sleeping since the incident. She added: “I feel on edge, I have avoided going outside and I flinch if someone comes too close to me”.

At his sentencing at Liverpool Crown Court on Friday (April 29) Corless was jailed for a total of 13 years for all of the offences, and was placed on the Sexual Offenders Register for life.

Senior crown prosecutor Simon Pover, a specialist lawyer with the rape and serious sexual offences unit of CPS Mersey Cheshire, said: “(Corless) callously and cruelly orchestrated an horrific situation which he shared in the form of a TikTok video and via snapchat. Some of the recipients of this material were alarmed and concerned for the young victim who was then supported in engaging with police. That was exactly the right response and led to Corless being sent to prison, where he belongs. His actions showed a total lack of respect for the victim and objectified her for his own gratification.”

Senior crown prosecutor Brett Gerrity, a specialist lawyer with the rape and serious sexual offences unit of CPS North West, said: “Joshua Corless exploited a young woman in order to have sex with her when she was very clearly unable to give her consent. Showing no remorse, he then put the victim through the experience of giving evidence at a criminal trial, before entering his guilty plea.

“Six months later he committed further sexual offences against a different young woman and again, he showed no remorse and took the case to trial. He is clearly a dangerous predator and poses a risk to women.

“Both these incidents were extremely distressing for the women involved. They have shown great courage throughout the investigation and prosecution, which has enabled us to bring Corless to justice for his sickening actions.”