December 2016

Jehovah’s Witness unmasked as ‘sly paedophile’

A senior Jehovah’s Witness has been unmasked as a “sly paedophile” who abused a 14-year-old girl in the back of a van.

Family man Daniel Arthington, who is an elder and preacher in the religious order, groomed and snared his “young prey”, a court was told.

The 46 year old was caught when a local builder had noticed a van parked on occasions on a remote lane near a rugby club.

Becoming suspicious he told a friend who was a police officer who arrived and could hear voices from the back of the van, “with noises consistent with sexual activity.”

Anna Pope, prosecuting, told Caernarfon Crown Court: “He waited for about 20 minutes during which he saw the van rocking from side to side, and the prosecution say this was the defendant involved in sexual activity with a child.”

“Arthington got back into the front of the van, appearing short of breath, and the policeman asked the passenger to get out.

The court heard Arthington said to the girl: “Tell him you’re 19, I’ve already told him.”

When asked for her date of birth the girl admitted she was 14 and on his way to the police station Arthington declared: “I’m dead.”

Miss Pope said there was a mattress and sheet in the back of the van.

In an impact statement the girl said she now felt sad and depressed, had lost weight and couldn’t sleep.

Her family was now considering whether to move.

Arthington, of Llanddaniel, Anglesey, pleaded guilty to having sexual activity with a girl of 14.

Jailing him for two years and eight months, Judge Rees told him that he been greedy and lustful.

He told him: “You made a sly attempt to prevent the police from seeing her and tried to hoodwink them that she was 19.

“I’m satisfied there was an element of grooming involved in your successful attempt in snaring your young prey.

“Your fall from grace is substantial but you have nobody to blame but yourself.”

A Sexual Harm Prevention Order was imposed whose terms ban any contact with the girl and he must register indefinitely as a sexual offender.