June 2016

Pervert who groped schoolgirl in Truro New Look walks free from court


A pervert who groped a schoolgirl in a shop has walked free from court as police appeal for other potential victims to come forward.

Truro Crown Court heard on Thursday that Andrew Boakes, formerly of Perranporth and now of Fore Street, Pool, followed the girl and her friend, who cannot be named for legal reasons, into the New Look store on Pydar Street, Truro, on November 2.

When the friends separated, Boakes targeted the 11-year-old and squeezed her buttocks.

He pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to one count of sexual assault on a girl under the age of 16.

David Sapiecha, prosecuting, said CCTV footage showed Boakes shadowing the friends. He then assaulted the girl and was seen on camera walking past the pair, down the stairs and they saw him look back at them.

Mr Sapiecha said the victim later told her mother “a random man squeezed my bum in New Look”.

Her parents went to the store, where the CCTV confirmed their account, he said, and the police were alerted.

Boakes, 54, came forward after an appeal and CCTV images were published by the press. In his first interview, he gave an innocent account of what occurred.

But in his second police interview, he admitted the offence and an offence of sexual touching, for which he stood trial in London and was acquitted in 1995, as well as other offences since then, Mr Sapiecha told the court.

Boakes also admitted to a sexual interest in girls and young women and to having “dark thoughts” towards them.

In a statement read out in court by Mr Sapiecha, the victim’s mother described how her daughter had changed and since the incident some of her “confidence and innocence had been taken away”.

Her daughter was “looking over her shoulder” and until recently was scared too walk to the main road or to go into town without an adult

Boakes’ solicitor Chris Spencer said he had been “frank with the police and probation” and wanted “help and assistance to make sure he doesn’t commit further offences”.

Judge Simon Carr said he was sentencing Boakes to eight months imprisonment, suspended for two years, for the offence against the girl, despite the admission he had offended before.

He also ordered Boakes to complete the Thames Valley Sex Offenders Programme and sign the sex offenders’ register.

He said: “You have had a serious problem for a number of years.

“On occasion you took that perversion out on women and children.”

The judge praised the bravery of the girl and warned Boakes”let me make it absolutely clear, there will be no second chances” and if he reoffended and breached the terms of his suspended sentence, he would be “locked up for a long period of time”.