August 2003

Anger at sex case verdict

A MOTHER has condemned the judicial system after a pervert who carried out a sexual affair with her 13-year-old daughter was acquitted of raping the girl.

Security guard Steven Wells, aged 32, was yesterday cleared of raping the Northampton teenager, but was jailed for four years for other sex offences during their two-month relationship.

Wells, who worked at Greyfriars Bus Station in Northampton, pleaded guilty to six offences of indecent assault and two charges of indecency with a child before the trial, but denied he had forced the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, into sex.

He was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.

After the hearing, the girl’s mother said: “It’s disgusting. I’m sorry we brought this case in the first place.

“My daughter is going to be totally devastated. It’s taken a year and more for her to start getting over what happened. I believe that this man will do something like this again. If he got into a relationship with a woman with children, how is she going to know he’s on the Sex Offenders’ Register?”

Wells was told by Judge Peter Crawford that he had groomed the girl to accept his advances by using money, his age and authority.

The judge added: “By a series of more and more intimate acts, you were eventually successful in persuading her to have sex with you.

“She did consent to have sex with you, but in a sense that is one of the worst aspects of your crimes.”

Steven Evans, defending, said Wells, of Linden Avenue in Kettering, had already spent 16 months on remand and was not likely to be released until he had served a further 16 months in prison.

He said: “He was clearly aware she was under age and acknowledges the cost of his behaviour. However, the doctors do not believe he has the attributes of a paedophile.