January 2018

Remorseless ex-mechanic repeatedly sexually abused a child leaving her ‘messed up’

A former mechanic who showed no remorse after being found guilty by a jury of repeatedly sexually abusing a child has been jailed.

Gareth Jones pleaded not guilty to three counts of assault by penetration, one of sexual assault, and one of sexual activity with a child but was convicted after a three-day trial.

Sentencing at Cardiff Crown Court, Judge Thomas Crowther QC told the defendant: “You continue to blame everyone but yourself for your predicament.”

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told police the abuse happened up to 20 times.

Opening the case last month, prosecutor Nigel Fryer said the child was “extremely upset” when she made the allegations.

She told police the offending occurred “out of the blue” and she found the defendant’s behaviour “confusing”.

Jones was arrested on October 3, 2016, and said he was “horrified” when the allegations were put to him.

He told officers: “I do not know why she has made these allegations up.”

Jones, 50, from Llys Tudful in CreigiauCardiff, denied the charges but was found guilty on all counts.

Prosecutors said he had a caution for common assault dating back to 2005.

Mr Fryer told the court the offending had a “deep psychological and physical impact”.

In a victim impact statement read out in court the complainant said she suffered from severe anxiety and panic attacks as a result.

She said she became isolated from her friends and feared having a panic attack at school.

The girl added Jones’ behaviour made her feel “scared and depressed” and caused her to suffer from nightmares and flashbacks.

She said: “It messed me up big time. Sometimes I cry so hard my whole body shakes.”

The victim explained she has difficulties with all kinds of relationships, in particular with men.

She said: “I still do not know what the long-term effects will be.

“I have been through the lowest of the low but justice has been done and I can start to live my life again.”

Judge Crowther told the defendant: “You show no remorse.”

He noted Jones described the victim as a “blubbering young girl” and criticised the special measures granted to make her feel more comfortable giving evidence in court.

A pre-sentence report found him to exhibit a “high level of denial and minimisation classically associated with sexual offenders”.

The judge said: “You continue to minimise and blame others. Her life remains blighted.”

Jones was jailed for 14 years and Judge Crowther made a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Reacting to the sentence, the victim said: “I am grateful the jury came to the unanimous decision, finding him guilty on all counts, thus putting him where he belongs.

“With the support of Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Crown Prosecution Service, legal team and all the police officers involved, I am relieved I found the courage to let my suffering be known.

“It has been a truly harrowing experience. I know that I am not the first, nor sadly the last.

“If I can give any words to victims of abuse, it is to believe in your own strength and have faith in the justice system.”