January 2018

Pervert sentenced for sexually assaulting preteen girl

A judge has said that the video interview given by a preteen girl who was sexually assaulted by a 20-year-old man was “the most compelling” he has seen in 32 years.

Thomas Kneebone, from Wadebridge, went on trial at Truro Crown Court earlier this week, accused of three counts of sexual activity with a child under 13 and two charges of causing or inciting a girl under 13 to engage in sexual activity.

At the end of the two day trial he was convicted by a jury of all five offences which happened last year.

Prosecuting barrister Philip Lee told the jury of nine men and three women that the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was convinced by Kneebone to remove her clothes and let him massage her before he touched her private parts.

Mr Lee also explained how Kneebone persuaded the young girl to masturbate him.

Mr Lee said: “On her return home the victim’s mum noticed that she was crying in her bedroom and asked her what was wrong.

“At first she was reluctant but then she began to tell her about what Thomas Kneebone had done to her.

“The matter was reported to the police straight away and the victim told officers how he had done things she didn’t like and it happened on three occasions, beginning when he asked if she had ever had a massage before.”

Mr Lee added how Kneebone persuaded the girl to remove her clothing for the massages and touched her vagina saying “it’s fine, it’ll teach you for when you’re older” and “school doesn’t teach you these things”.

He is also said to have urged and then helped her to masturbate him before asking her to put his penis in her mouth, however she refused the final offer.

Sentencing Kneebone, Judge Simon Carr said the victim’s video interview with police was the most compelling he had seen in 32 years.

Judge Carr said: “You were convicted by a jury of significant sexual assaults of a young girl who clearly worshipped you.

“What you did you did for your own sexual gratification and she had no real idea of what was going on.

“These were very serious assaults. The touching of her vagina masquerading as a massage was bad enough but you then got her to masturbate you until you ejaculated and told her she couldn’t tell anyone.

“You have showed no remorse for what you have done and little or no empathy.”

Judge Carr sentenced Kneebone to four and a half years in a young offenders’ institution and told him he must sign the sex offender register for life.