July 2013 – Released from prison and working and living in Plymouth

December 2009

Sexual predator is jailed

A SEXUAL predator who targeted teenage girls while gaining their trust as a “big brother” figure has been jailed for seven years.

Recorder Peter Thomas QC said Craig Buttenshaw, from Newton Abbot, had spoken with “relish” about his sex with an under-age girl, while giving evidence at Exeter Crown Court.

Buttenshaw, 33, of Rosemary Avenue, was sent to prison by Exeter Crown Court yesterday, following a trial last month. He had denied 20 sexual offences involving three teens, two of who were under-age, in Newton Abbot, during the past decade.

He was convicted of 12 offences against the two under-age girls. One told the court that Buttenshaw began molesting her when she was 12. She said he started by kissing her, then touching her sexually, before allegedly repeatedly raping her.

Buttenshaw, who had been charged with 13 offences against her, claimed to have never touched her sexually.

He was convicted of three indecent assaults and four offences of sexual activity with a child. The jury acquitted him of four offences of raping her and two indecent assaults.

Another girl said Buttenshaw began abusing her when she was 14. He claimed that the girl told him she was 16, so they had a consensual sexual relationship before he dumped her when she revealed her true age.

The jury convicted him of four offences of sexual activity with a child, involving her, and acquitted him of one similar charge. He was found not guilty of raping a 17-year-old.

Piers Norsworthy, defending, said Buttenshaw still insisted that he had never knowingly had sex with an under-age girl. The defendant had been cheating on his girlfriend at the time because their relationship was at “rock bottom”.