June 2017

Ex-serviceman jailed for 10 years for horrifying sex assault against young girl

A former serviceman has been jailed for up for 10 years for a horrific sexual assault against a child.

Stockton man Russel Fowler, who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, admitted four charges of committing sexual offences against a schoolgirl earlier this year.

Prosecutor Paul Cleasby told the court how Fowler had inappropriately touched the girl and made her watch pornography on his phone on April 13.

He then subjected her to a terrifying sex attack.

At a hearing on May 12, Fowler, 31, had already pleaded guilty to one count of rape, one of assault by penetration, one of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and one of causing a child to watch sexual activity.

He was remanded in custody while a pre-sentence report was prepared and appeared in front of the Recorder of Middlesbrough for sentencing.

Speaking at Teesside Crown Court, the girl’s mother told in a victim personal statement how the girl now has trouble sleeping and wakes in the night shouting.

She said: “She wakes up screaming or crying in her sleep.

“Once she is awake she is very upset and sobbing.

“It is my hope that she will forget about it and put it behind her but only time will tell.”

Fowler appeared in court from Holme House Prison via video link and spoke only to confirm his name.

Andrew Turton, defending, said: “There is only one mitigating feature here and that is his guilty plea at a very early stage.

Fowler was already serving a community order for charges of harassment against a neighbour.

Recorder of Middlesbrough Judge Simon Bourne-Arton QC said: “You are at the age now of 31, having served your country well in the army and served terms of deployment abroad in wartime conditions.

“What you did [to the girl] was beyond comprehension.

“There was the threat to her that if she tells her mother what you had done, she was in for some sort of punishment.”

Fowler, of Norfolk Street, Oxbridge, Stockton, was given a 10-year prison sentence.