May 2019

Woman sexually assaulted eight girls and three women

A woman sexually assaulted eight girls and three women in public places in just four days.

Emily Sweetland, 21, admitted a string of sex attacks on girls and women during a four-day rampage.

The baker from Ramsgate, Kent accosted her victims in public locations, including a Starbucks in Canterbury, Kent.

Greggs worker Sweetland approached one 13-year-old in the coffee shop and put her hand up her skirt.

The victim said: ‘She came and sat down near our table and pulled up a chair.

‘We thought she was a man, and we felt uncomfortable so got up to leave.

‘As I stood up she put her hand up my skirt and grabbed me.

‘I just screamed and we ran off.’

The victim went to the city’s bus station but was followed by Sweetland.

The victim’s mother told how the attack has left her daughter struggling to sleep and terrified of new people coming near her.

She said: ‘It has really taken its toll on her.

‘We can’t go where there are strangers around because she’s worried it will happen again.

‘She’s even said she doesn’t want to go back to school because she’s so scared.

‘It was meant to be a fun Easter holidays but she spent the whole time in tears.

‘She’s gone from being a happy child who loves being with her friends to someone who doesn’t want to go out because she feels so unsafe.

‘It’s devastated us as a family. I just want my happy little girl back.’

Appearing via video link from HMP Bronzefield, Sweetland, dressed in a white Nike t-shirt, admitted 11 sexual assaults charge but denied a count of witness intimidation.

Canterbury Crown Court heard the attacks took place from April 3 until she was arrested on April 6.

The first happened in Thanet, Kent, on April 3, when two teenage girls were touched sexually without their consent.

Two days later, in Canterbury, five girls aged between 12 and 15, and a woman, were attacked by Sweetland.

Sweetland was arrested on the evening of Saturday, April 6, following sexual assaults in Ramsgate on three more victims – two women and a 13-year-old girl.

Prosecuting barrister Francesca Levett requested the charge lie on file.

Sweetland will be sentenced on June 14 for what Recorder James Weekes described as ‘clearly serious offences’.

He said: ‘You are now subject to the Sex Offenders’ Register.

‘You must notify the police of your address and other details.

‘I should warn you that the offences are clearly serious both individually and collectively.’

Judge Weekes told Sweetland yesterday even though a pre-sentence report has been ordered for five weeks’ time a prison sentence is likely when she is sentenced in five weeks.

Sweetland was remanded in custody at the same prison until sentencing.