April 2017

Man who attacked 14-year-old girl in tent is jailed 18 years later

A pervert who sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl in a tent while other boys were sleeping next to her has been jailed for two years.

Nicholas Wilkinson, from Pwllheli, appeared at Chester Crown Court last Wednesday to be sentenced for the incident which took place in a park in Lymm in 1999.

Wilkinson was 17 at the time and after he and the victim had drunk alcohol, he took her back to the tent he was living in.

The court heard how the girl woke to discover Wilkinson, 35, performing an oral sex act on her.

After the attack, Wilkinson ‘hung around’ at the girl’s school and other places she regularly visited in order to stop her reporting it.

Prosecuting, Mark Connor said: “In the months after she was very badly affected. She was in her bedroom crying a lot, unable to socialise and very different to the sort of person that she was before.

“She had thoughts of self-harm and was admitted to hospital after she attempted to end her own life.

“She says as life went on she tried to put it behind her and found a job she loved and was a loving and fulfilled mother and partner. When it came up again her life began falling apart. She’s not been able to sleep, she has nightmares and flashbacks and has not been eating.”

The victim’s father went out searching for Wilkinson on several occasions because he felt ‘helpless and trapped’.

Wilkinson told the court he was already ‘very experienced’ sexually at the time of the offence and remembered nothing, but the court heard the victim was a virgin.

Defending, Michael Davies said: “Wilkinson was acquitted of rape not because they disbelieved the victim but because he had a reasonable belief in consent.

“At her age it would have been a shocking experience, of course it would, I am not denying that the impact was serious.

“There has to be an amelioration for the fact that he was 17. 

“He should be dealt with as a 17-year-old with all the naivety and allowance for age.”

Wilkinson has a string of previous convictions, including a barbaric attack on a puppy on Winwick Road in 2007, but has no record of sexual offences. He was found guilty of indecent assault. 

Sentencing, Judge Duncan Bould said: “From the next day the victim was reporting trauma which manifested itself in extreme ways, trauma which has not yet left her. The events have changed her life.

“You went on to claim you didn’t even know her. That was not true.”
Wilkinson was jailed for two years and will be released halfway through his sentence.

The victim said she decided to come forward because she hoped it would show other victims of sexual offences they can get justice.

She said: “I would urge people to come forward because it is safe to do so. Let’s hope we can put an end to this.”

“He deserves to go away for a long time, he’s vile and cruel.”