December 2018

Man who sexually assaulted young girls at Cambridgeshire squash club jailed after admitting five further offences

A man who sexually assaulted two girls at a squash club after telling them they were ‘stars of the future’ has been jailed.

Adrian Shepherd, of Docwra Road, Papworth Everard, touched both girls sexually on 17 February last year.

The 62-year-old approached the first girl, who was under the age of 16, at a squash court at just after 9am.

He approached, asked what her name was and shook her hand, Cambridge Crown Court heard.

Shepherd asked the girl if it was her dad who was standing nearby. He then started talking about her, saying she would be ‘one of the stars of the future’.

As the young girl walked away from him, he groped her.

The girl did not report this until she heard what had happened to another victim later that same day. She then broke down in tears to her dad.

A few hours later, between 1pm and 2pm, Shepherd sexually assaulted another girl who was under the age of 13.

He approached the second victim, who was standing with another girl, at the same squash club.

Shepherd once again told the girl she was a ‘star of the future’ and then groped her as he walked away from her and her friend.

In police interview, Shepherd admitted he spoke to the two girls but claimed he wanted to offer them ‘words of encouragement’.

He said he shook both their hands and patted them on the back, but denied groping them.

Shepherd claimed that if he had groped the girls, it would have been accidental.

During the investigation into the offences, further historic sex offences came to light.

Shepherd admitted a further five counts of sexual assault by touching between 2012 and 2015.

On the afternoon of 26 May, 2012, Shepherd groped a girl as she was leaving a college in Cambridgeshire following a sporting event.

Later that same day he groped two girls at a different sports facility – one as she was at a water fountain and another as she went to retrieve some sports equipment.

Between November 2014 and January 2015, Shepherd also groped another girl at a football match in Huntingdon.

And between January 2014 and March 2015, Shepherd sexually assaulted another girl on two different occasions.

In the first offence, the girl was at a corner shop in Papworth Everard when Shepherd ran passed, groped her and told her she was ‘cheeky’.

The second offence took place a year later at a restaurant, when the same girl was groped by Shepherd while getting food from a buffet.

The girl recognised him from when he had sexually assaulted her before and broke down in tears to a family member in the restaurant toilets.

When interviewed about the further offences, Shepherd again denied any involvement.

At a previous court hearing, Shepherd admitted six counts of sexual assault by touching, and one count of assaulting a girl under the age of 13.

He was sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court yesterday (20 December), where he was handed a one-year jail sentence and placed on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.

Shepherd was also issued a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.