Fourteen years for man convicted of child sex offences
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A 39-year-old man who sexually abused four young girls in two counties has this week been jailed for 14 years.
Gareth Berry committed the offences at addresses in Northampton and Leicester between 2011 and 2016. The youngest victim was just 12 when Berry began abusing her.
In 2016, two victims living in Northampton reported the abuse to Northamptonshire Police and an investigation began.
As a result of enquires into the circumstances, two victims living in Leicester identified themselves to Leicestershire Police and said they too had been sexually abused by Berry.
Despite denying the allegations he was charged with a string of offences. On Thursday, July 22, following a trial at Leicester Crown Court, Berry – of Houldsworth Crescent in Coventry – was found guilty of six counts of sexually assaulting a child under 13, three counts of sexual activity with a child, and one count of assaulting a child under 13 by penetration.
At his sentencing on Tuesday, July 27, he was sentenced to 14 years with an extended licence period of one year.
He was also made subject to an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) and has been placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.
Detective Constable Nicky Webb, investigating officer at Northamptonshire Police, said: “The significant custodial sentence Berry has received is a reflection of the devastating impact these offences, that he denied throughout, have had on these vulnerable victims and their families.
“Berry believed that he would get away with abusing his victims as he did not think they would be strong enough to speak out and engage in the justice process. I’m very glad that they proved him wrong.”
Detective Raj Pahal, one of the investigating officers from Leicestershire Police, added: “All four victims were children when Berry began abusing them. He took advantage of them for his own sexual gratification in the belief that they wouldn’t tell anyone about what he was doing.
“However, as they got older they realised what had happened and reported his crimes to police. I hope the fact that he has been convicted of his crimes – and is now serving a significant custodial sentence – will provide some reassurance and allow them to begin to move on with their lives.”
There are a number of different agencies who are able to offer independent help and support to victims of sexual offences.