St Austell man changes pleas to sex assault of child on day of trial
A man has pleaded guilty to the sexual assault of a child on the day he was due to stand trial.
There was a full public gallery at Truro Crown Court on Wednesday as Daniel Reigate, of Ruddlemoor, St Austell, appeared in the dock.
The 38-year-old had previously denied four allegations that he touched a young girl in a sexual manner, including stroking her naked body.
Just as Truro Crown Court was due to begin the trial, the judge warned Reigate that this was the last opportunity for credit for any guilty pleas.
Defendants who plead guilty, rather than being convicted after a trial, are entitled to a reduction in any sentence.
After talks with his barrister, Reigate returned to court and indicated he would now pleaded guilty to two charges of sexual assault. He admitted touching intimate parts of her naked body and stroking her thighs.
Rupert Taylor, representing Reigate, said the court would benefit from a full pre-sentence report, which could look in detail at his background and suggest possible sentencing options.
Judge Robert Linford agreed and ordered Reigate work with the Probation Service in the preparation of an all-options report. The final decision on sentencing will then be taken by Judge Linford at a later hearing at Truro.
Reigate was released on bail and will be sentenced in the new year. The date of the next hearing will be determined later.