June 2018

Jury returns verdict in trial of man accused of historical sex assault on boy

A man accused of sexually assaulting a boy over a decade ago broke down in tears as a jury returned its verdict.

Ryan Gough-Hughes, 28, has been on trial at Caernarfon Crown Court accused of sexually touching the boy, who was aged nine at the time.

Prosecutor Richard Edwards told the jury Gough-Hughes, who was a teenager at the time, had tied the boy’s hands behind his back in a game of “hide-and-seek” on a mountain. He had removed the boy’s clothing and sexually touched him.

The defendant, of Prestatyn, Denbighshire, denied the allegation.

But today, after deliberating for five hours and 15 minutes, the jury of seven men and five women found Hughes guilty of the offence by a majority verdict of 10 for and two against.

The defendant cried in the dock as the jury foreman returned the verdict.

The Judge, Mr Recorder Peter Rouch QC, explained that ordinarily the defendant would be handed “a substantial custodial sentence” but he had to weigh up Gough-Hughes’ age at the time of the offence.

He said: “It is a difficult sentencing exercise.”

Asking for representations from both the defence and prosecuting barristers, the judge said he wanted to receive a pre-sentence report “to canvass what an appropriate sentence would be.”

The Judge added: “It doesn’t mean to say I will be considering a custodial sentence.”

Hughes’ unconditional bail was extended until the sentencing next month. He will now have to register on the sex offenders register.

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