April 2019

Huddersfield man who sexually abused child jailed for 16 years

A Huddersfield man who repeatedly sexually abused a child has been jailed for 16 years.

Craig Charlesworth orally raped the girl, attempted to rape her vaginally, performed oral sex on her and forced her to masturbate him and watch porn and told her not to tell anyone, Leeds Crown Court heard.

Sentencing, Mr Justice Lavender said the offences took place more than 10 years ago, but have a ‘continuing and profound affect’ on the victim and her mother, adding: “[The victim] said at times she just wanted to pretend she did not exist.

“Her mother has sleepless nights and nightmares of what you have done to her daughter and what that has done to her.

“Her mother blames herself for not preventing it.”

After a three-day trial, a jury of nine women and three men took 11 hours and 46 minutes to find him guilty of seven child sex offences by a majority of 10-2.

The 50-year-old was convicted of:

  • Two counts of rape of a child under the age of 13,

  • Two counts of attempted rape of a child under the age of 13,

  • One count of sexual assault of a child under the age of 13,

  • One count of causing a child under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity

  • One count of causing a child to watch a sexual act.

Charlesworth, of Brown Royd Avenue in the Rawthorpe area of Huddersfield, was given an extended prison sentence and told he must serve a custodial term of 16 years, two thirds of which must be spent in custody.

He must serve a further one-year period on licence.

The victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, sat in the public gallery during the sentencing hearing.