September 2007

Man jailed for sexually assaulting girl

A 41-year-old man who indecently assaulted a teenage girl has been jailed for ten months by a judge at Bradford Crown Court.

Although Sean Canavan, of Dudley Street, Tyersal, Bradford, pleaded guilty to the offence Judge Roger Scott said he was only entitled to a ten per cent discount on his sentence because his plea had come at the last possible opportunity.

Prior to his trial Canavan maintained that the 16-year-old victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, had made up the allegation and that he was being set up.

Even after admitting the offence at trial Canavan went on to make an application to change his plea, but that was later withdrawn.

Canavan’s barrister Tahir Khan conceded that his protestations of innocence demonstrated a refusal to acknowledge his wrong-doing, but in the end he had made a frank admission to a probation officer.

Mr Khan said Canavan was a decent, hard-working man who regretted his actions and he urged Judge Scott to consider suspending any prison sentence.

But Judge Scott said although Canavan’s references described him as a ‘trustworthy” man that was transparently not the case.

Prosecutor Nicholas Worsley read from the girl’s victim impact statement in which she described how the incident of indecent touching had made her feel like she could not trust anyone, particularly men.

As well as jailing Canavan Judge Scott also said he would have to register as a sex offender with the police for the next ten years.

Canavan will also be subject to an indefinite sexual offences prevention order which restricts any unsupervised contact with children.