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Girl: attack ‘bothered my soul deeply’

A 27-year-old man will spend ten years behind bars for sexual offences against a ten-year-old schoolgirl.

William Smith was found guilty of unlawful carnal knowledge, attempted unlawful carnal knowledge and two counts of sexual exploitation of a young person by a person in a position of trust.

Acting Puisne Judge Craig Attridge told Smith, from Warwick, he had “traumatised” the girl for his own sexual gratification.

He added: “As if that wasn't enough, the defendant then made her suffer the verbal ordeal of giving evidence in open court.

“It is a shame on the defendant that he forced her to confront her abuser in that way.”

Mr Justice Attridge added that Smith continued to deny his crimes and “shows no remorse”.

Smith committed a sexual assault on the child, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, on or about September 23, 2016.

He was also convicted of an attempt to have sex with the girl in the summer of 2017.

A victim impact statement from Smith's victim was read to the court. She said that what Smith had done to her had “bothered my soul deeply”.

The girl added that she now felt uncomfortable when she was touched by other people and was sometimes angry.

Her statement said: “I have anxiety now. I feel more stressed out in general.

“Things that might not have irritated me before irritate me now. I continue to feel scared sometimes and I worry a lot.”

She added that it was harder for her to make friends.

The girl said: “I don't talk to people as easily. I am more shy around people. I don't trust people any more.”

However, she said that she had made a “conscious choice” not to be scared of Smith and that her family and friends had helped her to be strong.

The girl added: “I pity him. I want him to go to jail for a long enough time for him to think about his actions. I want him to get help.”

She added that the abuse she had suffered did not define her.

The girl added: “His actions are not my truth. I don't want to be known as a victim. I choose not to be afraid. I choose not to be scared any more.”

The girl's great-grandmother said that trauma had a detrimental effect on her health.

She added in a separate victim impact statement: “When it first happened, I could not sleep. Even now some nights I can't sleep because of it.

“It's hard to put into words what I feel. It's traumatic. I've lost my appetite from this, I've lost weight.”

She said that she also suffered from insomnia and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The great-grandmother added: “There are no words to describe the anguish.”

Mr Justice Attridge sentenced Smith to ten years for unlawful carnal knowledge, six years for attempted unlawful carnal knowledge, and eight years and six years, respectively, for the two counts of sexual exploitation.

Mr Justice Attridge ordered the sentences to run concurrently and that time already spent in custody should be taken into consideration.

He said Smith would have to serve at least five years before he was eligible for parole.

Smith will also be added the sex offenders registry.

Maria Sofianos, for the Crown had earlier asked for a sentence of between 18 and 22 years.

It is The Royal Gazette's policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. This is to prevent any statements being published that may jeopardise the outcome of that case.

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Published March 07, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated March 06, 2020 at 11:34 pm)

Girl: attack ‘bothered my soul deeply’

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