November 2018

Man jailed for 1990s assaults on schoolgirls

Mark Waterer, 57, jailed at Ipswich Crown Court for 11 years for sexually assaulting two schoolgirls in the 1990s.

A former Ipswich man accused of sexually assaulting two schoolgirls two decades ago has been jailed for 11 years.

Sentencing Mark Waterer, Judge Rupert Overbury described his actions as “pre-meditated and calculated” and said he had treated one of his victims as “an object rather than a person.”

“They were young teenage girls and there were elements of grooming in both cases,” said the judge.

He said the verdicts in respect of one of the victims showed the jury believed she was under 16 at the time of the offences, and had rejected Waterer’s claim that she was over 16 and had consented to what took place.

He said Waterer had sexually assaulted her: “Your ultimate goal was to have full sexual intercourse with her.”

Judge Overbury said Waterer had sexually assaulted the other at a flat where he was living alone.

He said both victims had been “substantially” affected by the abuse they had suffered and the trial had opened up old wounds.

“These events will stay with them and their families for the rest of their lives,” said the judge.

Waterer, 57, of Church Lane, Little Stonham, near Stowmarket, denied ten offences of indecent assault and three offences of indecency with a child.

Following his arrest in April 2015, Waterer said he was “gobsmacked” when he heard the allegations – which date back to the 1990s – against him.

But a jury at Ipswich Crown Court found him guilty of ten offences of indecent assault and one of indecency with a child. He was cleared of the other two offences.

Waterer was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for life and Judge Overbury gave the prosecution 56 days to consider applying for a sexual harm prevention order.

Waterer denied having any sexual contact with one of the schoolgirls while she was under 16 but admitted he had consensual sexual contact with her after her 16th birthday.

The court heard he denied having any sexual contact with the other girl, Ipswich Crown Court heard.