January 2012

Drunken paedophile who attacked girls on Chorlton field jailed for 32 months

A paedophile who sexually assaulted two young girls after posing as a Good Samaritan has been jailed.

Darren Sutherland, 29, was already a registered sex offender at the time of the attack on playing fields in Chorlton where a group of four children were playing.

Sutherland, who was said to be drunk, saw one of the youngsters stuck in the mud and lifted her out. But he then began to drink beer and sexually assaulted two of the girls.

They managed to break free and ran off with their friends before escaping on their bikes. But Sutherland got on his own bike and followed two of the girls to another park where he demanded money from them before pushing them both over. Sutherland also admitted two counts of battery.

The victims of his first attack had raced home to tell their parents who contacted police and pointed out Sutherland to the responding officer. He was arrested and inquiries later established he was a registered sex offender.

Sutherland, of Slade Mount, Levenshulme, was sentenced to 32 months in prison, ordered to sign the sex offenders register indefinitely and given a 10-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order at Manchester Crown Court, after the attacks on September 18 last year.

After the hearing Det Con Lee Fisher said: “Sutherland was a registered sex offender who not only assaulted two young children, but also pushed their friends over in anger.

“While he was drunk, neither this nor anything can excuse sexually assaulting and frightening a group of young girls and quite rightly he has been jailed.

“I would like to praise the courage of the young girls in coming forward so quickly and telling their parents. “Despite what had happened to them, they had the presence of mind to speak up immediately which allowed officers to get to the scene straight away so the family could positively identify Sutherland before he could escape.

“The officers involved in this investigation worked very hard to secure evidence against Sutherland, leaving him no choice but to admit what he had done. “If anyone is approached by a stranger and either made to feel uncomfortable or sexually assaulted, they should follow the girls’ brave example and call police immediately so we can take swift action.”