October 1999

Man jailed after admitting child sex abuse

A BIRMINGHAM man has been jailed for six years for sexually abusing a young girl following a dramatic plea change.

Stephen Gwinnett had denied attempting to rape his victim but a trial at the city’s crown court was brought to a halt when he confessed his guilt.

Gwinnett (41), of Longbridge, had previously admitted charges of indecent assault and indecency with a child.

His change of plea was made after his victim became visibly upset while watching a video interview she had made which was being shown to the jury.

John Price, prosecuting, said that matters first came to light when the girl told a teacher at her school that she had been abused by Gwinnett.

Lynn Taylor, defending, said Gwinnett, who was an active church member and had also done a large amount of charity work, committed the offences following the breakdown of his marriage.

In passing sentence, Judge Derek Stanley said Gwinnett must have already done great damage to his victim and by bringing her to court had aggravated her ordeal by forcing her to relive experiences she wanted to forget.