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Victim of child sex offence has no regrets about telling truth

A victim of a sexual offence against a child said her life would never be the same after a man “stole her innocence” when she was 13.

The perpetrator, who cannot be named because of a reporting restriction, admitted having unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl ten years ago.

His sentencing is expected to take place on May 22.

In an impact statement, read to the Supreme Court yesterday on her behalf, the victim said that what the man did to her “could never be forgotten and never be changed”.

In March, the man pleaded guilty to a single count of the offence, which took place on an unknown date between December 2013 and December 2014.

At the time, he was 53 while the victim, who also cannot be identified for legal reasons, was under the age of 14.

The court heard how the man took the victim’s hand and placed it on his genital area before having sexual intercourse with her.

In March 2022, the victim video-recorded the man while talking to him about the incident.

During the recording, he admitted he had “made a mistake”.

Once the recording was made, the victim reported it to police and the man was arrested last June.

The victim’s statement said: “He stole my innocence and victimised me.”

She said: “I was just a child and he decided to molest me, he was a grown adult … He was someone who thought he knew God.

“I remember it like it was yesterday, I remember the pain I felt, the words that were said, crying my eyes out and running downstairs not knowing what to do.

“I get so emotional when I talk about it. I am stressing so much.”

The victim said in her statement that some people she knew turned against her once the case began.

Her statement added: “The people I thought were in my corner and had my back, once the case started they backed out. I constantly feel that it’s my fault but I remind myself, this is not your fault.

“It’s not easy when nobody wants you around because I told the truth.”

The victim said she did not regret speaking up and was able to feel “grounded” that others may be protected by the man’s incarceration.

The man earlier denied a separate charge of intruding on the privacy of a woman.

The Crown indicated then that it would not pursue prosecution of that charge at the time given his guilty plea to the other offence.

The man apologised to the victim and her family, as well as his own wife and family, for the “shame and embarrassment” he had caused them.

He said: “I pray this will bring closure and comfort to the victim and that she will go on and enjoy and have a fruitful life.”

Crown prosecutor Daniel Kitson-Walters recommended a six-year prison sentence for the man, taking into account the girl’s age at the time, the age disparity between the victim and perpetrator, and the breach of trust, but also accounting for the man’s early guilty plea.

Mr Kitson-Walters recommended that the man be remanded in custody and, on release from prison, placed on the sex offenders’ register.

Elizabeth Christopher, who represented the defendant, took note of the early plea as well as a positive character reference and a favourable outcome on a social inquiry report.

She recommended that he serve four years.

Maxanne Anderson, acting as assistant justice of the Supreme Court, extended the man’s bail and reserved judgment on sentence until May 22.

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