October 2013

Pervert pensioner claims he’s the victim after shop sex assault on teen

tun

A PERVERT pensioner from Paddock Wood who sexually assaulted a teenager with learning disabilities has caused outrage by claiming HE is the victim.

Vincent Juan, 75, of Bullfinch Close, became “aroused” as he queued behind the girl in a newsagents.

He dashed from the shop – Martin’s in Tunbridge Wells – after an eyewitness confronted him, shocked as he had “grinded” himself up against his victim.

But this week he admitted sexual assault and was given a 28-day jail sentence, suspended for a year, by Sevenoaks magistrates.

This means he was able to walk free, unless he commits an offence in the next 12 months. He was also placed on the sex offenders’ register.

The court heard that the confidence of the girl, who is under 16, had been shattered and she was now scared to go out.

But when the Courier spoke to Juan following the court case, he shockingly claimed: the victim’s family had exaggerated the distress and the incident. “It’s been grossly exaggerated. There was no grabbing or forcing, there were no words between us.

“And as for the lady walking out (the shop) distressed, of course her mother will exaggerate the case and I can’t do a thing about it.

“When I walked outside the shop she (the victim) was sorting through her shopping . She didn’t look distressed.

“The lady (teen victim) could’ve walked away from me and that would’ve been it. Why did I do it? I don’t know.

“I’ve never done anything like this in my life, it’s all out of proportion. I do sympathise with her but I’m probably more the victim than the girl, in truth.”

Juan’s charity worker wife Jo, 65, said she had been left devastated by the incident but would stand by her husband of 40 years.

The girl’s parents said she had suffered a huge setback and now refused to leave their side or talk to old men, after years of work to encourage her independence and confidence.

They were stunned to hear Juan had claimed he was the victim.

“I’m not sure how to respond to what he’s saying – it’s a load of old rubbish. I’m absolutely speechless,” said her father.

“Most members of the public would be horrified and disgusted at a girl in a supposedly safe town being sexually assaulted in a shop – in our case it’s a much bigger deal with her lack of comprehension.”

The teenager’s mother said: “Maybe he’s saying that because he’s got to walk away from it – the independent witness didn’t seem to think it was being exaggerated. It was because of them and the shock of the Royal Victoria Place security people that we even knew about it. They were all horrified.”

An eyewitness from the June 29 incident had a statement read aloud to magistrates last Thursday. (Sept 26)

It said: “I noticed he appeared to be grinding his body into the young girl’s hip and bottom area.

“He actually turned around and looked at me and then looked around – he appeared to be looking to see if anyone was watching him.

“At one stage he appeared to have his hand in his pocket, I think he was touching his penis. He started breathing heavily, even closing his eyes in enjoyment.

“I could see the girl was upset and was moving away. I think he was grinding against her quite hard and she was pushed forward.

“I challenged the man and said ‘I know what you’re doing you f****ng nonce’. He threw some money on the counter and left the store.”

Immediately after the court case, the victim’s devastated parents told the Courier they had been with their child on the day.

They had sat at nearby Costa Coffee close to the Royal Victoria Place centre and the teenager’s mother watched her walk in and back out of the newsagent.

When she returned, she appeared different but did not, and still has not, spoken of the incident.

The parents only became aware as they walked by the shop later in the day, and its manager approached them to reveal what had happened.

A family statement, written by the victim’s father and read aloud in court, said: “We were at a stage where we could give her tasks in town to do. This has changed since the assault. She’s refused to talk about what’s happened to her. She won’t leave the house on her own.

“I’ve questioned if we were right to try and give her some independence. We feel like we’re starting again.”

Robert Murray, defending Juan, argued his client did not know his victim had a learning disability.

Juan was placed on the sex offenders’ register for seven years, charged £85 in court costs and an £80 victim surcharge.