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Man convicted of 2002 sex assault to stay in jail until sentenced

A Supreme Court judge has stood by her decision to keep a man convicted of a sex assault on a schoolgirl in custody until he can be sentenced.

Jamel Simons, 38, was found guilty last year of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl in 2002 when he was 19 years old.

But he was not remanded until January after he lost a Supreme Court appeal against his conviction.

Puisne Judge Shade Subair Williams said in a written decision that Simons was likely to receive a prison sentence for the crime.

She also warned it was possible Simons could reoffend, despite a lack of other convictions in the nearly 20 years since the offence was committed.

Mrs Justice Subair Williams added that assessments would be made of Simons to determine the “extent of the sexual offender’s ability or failure to control deviant sexual impulses”.

She said: “This is expressly relevant to the central question which arises on account of offences of this nature – will the sex offender commit further sexual offences by reason of a failure in the future to control such impulses?

“The answer to such a question cannot be automatically made absolute by reference to a clean antecedent history on the part of the offender.

“After all, it is well-known that cases of this kind are often left unreported.”

Mrs Justice Subair Williams added that the likelihood of imprisonment made it more likely that Simons would attempt to flee.

She said: “Unlike an accused awaiting trial, the appellant may no longer assert an absolute presumption of innocence having been convicted of a serious violent offence and having failed to successfully prosecute his appeal.

“Further, the probability of a custodial sentence is high, thereby increasing the likelihood of his absconding court.”

A Magistrates’ Court trial heard earlier that Simons had conversations with the victim in 2002 before they agreed to meet on an unknown day in April that year.

The girl and a friend – another schoolgirl – skipped classes and went to a house in Warwick, where Simons lived with his mother.

She and Simons were left alone in his bedroom a few minutes after they arrived.

The victim told the court that after kissing and consensual touching, Simons pinned her arms down and forced himself on her and that she had screamed for him to stop.

Simons admitted that he had sex with the girl, but insisted it was consensual.

He told the magistrate that he had nerve damage, which meant he could not have held her arms down and denied that she had screamed or pushed him away.

But Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo ruled that the victim was “straightforward, frank and clear” in her evidence and that Simons was “not entirely honest”.

Simons launched an appeal against his conviction before he could be sentenced.

Mrs Justice Subair Williams upheld the conviction in January after she found the evidence supported the victim’s claim that he had used force on her after she changed her mind about sexual contact with Simons.

She added that the victim’s story of “agony and anger” was corroborated by the evidence of her friend, who said she was “crying” and “upset to the point of shaking” after the attack.

Simons will remain in custody until he can be sentenced by Magistrates’ Court.

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