A man convicted of the rape of a 15-year-old schoolgirl more than 30 years ago was warned by a judge last night that he faced “a significant period of imprisonment”.

Puisne Judge Carlisle Greaves added: “I think he should prepare himself for that.”

Mr Justice Greaves was speaking after a Supreme Court jury convicted Morris O’Brien, 53, of rape by a unanimous verdict after four hours of deliberation.

Mr Greaves then remanded O’Brien, from Pembroke, in custody for pre-sentencing reports.

The conviction came after prosecutors alleged O’Brien raped the teenager, said to be a family friend, in September 1988.

O’Brien was 23 at the time of the attack.

The victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said earlier that on the night of the rape she was at home asleep in her bedroom with her sister when she heard a knock on the front door.

She told the Supreme Court she went to the door and saw O’Brien outside.

She said she told him that her sister was asleep and the rest of the family were out.

The woman, now 45, told the court he forced his way through the door, gripped her by the arms and pushed her into the living room.

She said O’Brien pushed her to the floor and raped her.

The victim added she blacked out during the attack and O’Brien had left by the time she recovered consciousness.

She said O’Brien “stalked” her after the incident.

The woman told the jury he waited at a gate she passed through on her way home from school on a regular basis.

The woman added, on one occasion, O’Brien gave her “a love letter”.

In the note, which was read to the court, O’Brien said he loved her and wanted to make love to her. The woman said she had told no one about the rape for almost a year.

Her mother told a police officer who was close to the family and he urged the family to go to a lawyer.

The family also applied for a restraining order against O’Brien, but the victim did not make a statement about the attack to police until April last year.

O’Brien told the court during the four-day trial that he had never raped the girl and that the night she described “never happened”.

He told the jury he had had “consensual” sex with the girl three times while she was underage.

O’Brien also admitted he had written the note.

He said he did not mention it when he was interviewed by police because he had forgotten about it.

By Owain Johnston-Barnes The Royal Gazette