October 2018

Paedophile sentenced to 11 years

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A Merstham paedophile with 39 previous convictions has been locked up for 11 years after a judge said he posed a significant danger to young children.

Terry Briance, of Nutfield Road, was handed the lengthy term after being found guilty of repeatedly attacking a young girl in Merstham more than 10 years ago.

Briance, 43, who has been known to lurk around playgrounds watching children, denied seven charges of sexually assaulting the girl.

However, following a week-long trial in July, a jury found him guilty of all charges.

He was back at Guildford Crown Court on Friday to be sentenced for his crimes.

In a harrowing impact statement, his victim described how she had tried to slit her wrists when she heard he had pleaded not guilty to tormenting her.

Prosecutor Piers Reed read it out to the court.

“Because of what was done to me I have spent many of my years wishing I was dead,” the court heard. “The depression that went with that has been crushing.”

She described how her ordeal had left her with a deep anger, and terrified by any type of physical intimacy.

“Nowhere ever felt safe,” the impact statement conitnued. “Instead of feeling excited by the world around me, I was terrified of it.

“The shame of what happened to me haunts me to this day.

“I still carry around this burden with me and the knowledge that he has no remorse for what he has done to me. He was the monster of my childhood.”

The court was told the girl tried desperately to build a barricade to keep Briance from assaulting her.

The paedophile’s offending goes back almost 30 years, the court heard.

His family moved to America when he was young, where he committed his first offence as a teenager.

He raped a five-year-old girl, Mr Reed told the court, although was convicted only of sexual assault.

After a prison and probation term, he was deported back to the UK in 2003, only to go on and attack his next victim.

In the years since, he has been convicted of possessing tens of thousands of indecent images of children and has been before the courts for 39 separate offences, including in 2011, 2012 and 2013

In 2011, police officers found 40,000 indecent images of girls aged between nine and 14 on his computer.

In 2015, he was convicted of breaching a sexual harm prevention order by ogling children playing in a water play park in Hove.

It was only after seeing a newspaper report of one of his convictions, that the girl he assaulted years before worked up the courage to come forward and tell police what he had done to her.

Sentencing him, Judge Peter Moss said Briance had an “entrenched” sexual interest in young girls.

“You have no remorse, no acceptance of what you have done,” he told him.

“All this bodes ill for the future for you and for the community and those that are at serious risk of serious sexual harm from you.

“I therefore conclude that you are at danger of committing further offence of this nature and pose a significant risk of harm to members of the public and I intend to impose an extended term of imprisonment.”

Briance, balding with glasses and a long beard, stood quietly as the sentence was read out.

He will serve at least two-thirds of the 11-year term, and will only be released then if the parole board is satisfied he no longer poses a risk.

He will remain on the sex offenders register and subject to the sexual harm prevention order, which bars him from going within 50 metres of any park or school.

June 2011

Man who had 40,000 indecent images is put on help programme

A PAEDOPHILE found with thousands of indecent images of children has escaped jail after a judge said prison would not cure his offending.

Concerns were first raised about Terry Briance, 35, of Redhill, when he was seen watching children frolic in the fountain at the Princess Diana memorial in Hyde Park.

Surrey Police later seized laptops from his home, in Lyndale Road, and uncovered thousands of indecent images of children as young as nine.

Briance admitted 19 counts of possessing indecent images of children and five counts of making indecent images following his arrest in February this year.

Sentencing him at Guildford Crown Court on Friday, Judge Christopher Critchlow said the crimes warranted a 15 to 16-month jail term, according to guidelines.

But he told Briance: “When you are released from any prison sentence of that length, there will be nothing to assist you to stop this behaviour. It is for that reason I am not going to impose a custodial sentence – because you have served the equivalent of seven months (on remand) and because I think it is better for the public that you should go on a programme which I hope will prevent you from ever committing this sort of offence again.”

Briance, who has a previous conviction for a sexual offence in the USA but none here, was first seen watching children playing at the Hyde Park monument in August 2009, and was ordered from the park.

In September last year, he was banned from the royal parks after again being caught loitering near the fountain.

Surrey Police visited his home in December and seized a laptop. While it was being analysed, Briance was again found paying attention to children in a playground in Hyde Park, in breach of his banning order.

Surrey officers returned to his home on February 24 and arrested the Halfords shop worker.

Officers uncovered 40,000 indecent images of girls aged between nine and 14.

The majority were categorised as the least serious level one images, although every level of child pornography, including a number of the most serious category five images, were found.

Briance, who has no previous convictions, will carry out a sex offenders’ treatment programme and be subject to a three-year supervision order.

He was also made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order and will be banned from working with children until any further order is made.

Speaking after the hearing, investigating officer Cliff Purvis said: “Terry Briance’s offending was pitiful.

“On reflection, the sentence is probably appropriate as long as he gets help in terms of his sexual offending.

“Surrey Police strive to protect all the community, in particular vulnerable persons. People who commit this type of offence can expect our closest attention.”