October 2017

Deal man put his hand up the skirt of two schoolgirls

A man from Deal put his hand up the skirt of two underage schoolgirls in separate incidents in Dover and Folkestone earlier this year, a court heard.

Phillip Henry, of Sandown Road, who has previously been cautioned for possessing indecent images of children, denied any sexual motivation but was found guilty of sexual assault at trial on September 27.

The court heard how his first victim – a 15-year-old girl – left her school in Frith Road, Dover dressed in uniform on February 24, 2017.

She noticed Henry walking towards her before he put his hand on her thigh and ran it up her leg under her skirt.

Just weeks later on March 10, 2017, Henry targeted a 14-year-old girl in Folkestone who had left her school in Sandgate Road before heading into the town centre.

The teenager was in Debenhams with two friends when she noticed Henry walking towards her – he then touched her leg under her skirt in an incident described as ‘identical’ to the previous one.

Following an investigation by Kent Police, Henry was arrested on April 7 and identified by the two victims.

He was due to be sentenced on Thursday (October 12), but the verdict was put off by District Judge Justin Barron who was ‘not happy’ to deal with the case until a specialist report had been provided by probation officers.

Judge Barron told Henry: “These are concerning sexual offences and I need a proper assessment of whether you present a risk to other people. You have been found guilty of targeting school girls.

“I don’t want to put the case off but I am not prepared to sentence today.”

Henry was released on unconditional bail and will now be sentenced at Margate Magistrates’ Court on November 16.