September 2017

Opportunistic child abuser touched girl, eight, when she took bath

An opportunist child abuser has been jailed for touching an eight-year-old girl when she was taking a bath.

Nigel Rowden went into the bathroom while the girl was at his home and picked her out of the bath before touching her sexually.

He was found not guilty of taking a picture of her on his mobile phone by a jury at Exeter Crown Court after they were told it could not be found in the device’s memory.

Rowden, aged 46, of Western Road, Crediton, denied two counts of sexual assault on a child under 13 and one of taking an indecent image of the girl.

He was found guilty of the sexual assaults and jailed for three years by Judge Graham Cottle, who also put him on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years and made a sexual harm prevention order which restricts his future contact with children.

He told him:”You have been convicted of sexually assaulting a very young girl. This took place at bath time when she was visiting the house where you lived.

“You took advantage of an opportunity that presented itself to abuse this child twice. This was a breach of trust because you had a duty to act properly towards her and not to behave in the way that you did.”

During a three day trial the jury heard how police were called in after the girl told her father what had happened to her and he called the NSPCC helpline.

She alleged he had touched her and then lifted a towel before taking a picture of her private parts on his phone.

Rowden chose not to give evidence but in a police interviewed he denied he had ever bathed the girl or seen her naked. He said the allegations were fabricated. He said he had never taken any photographs of her naked.

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