August 2020

Dangerous Leeds sex offender who raped five-year-old boy branded a ‘monster’ by the victim’s heartbroken mum as he is jailed for more than 17 years

A dangerous serial paedophile who raped a five-year-old boy was branded a monster by the child’s distraught mum as he was given an extended prison sentence of more than 17 years.

Gareth Briggs was told by a judge that he represented a serious danger to children after hearing how he carried out the sex attack on the youngster in a toilet.

Briggs has previous convictions for child sex offences and was the subject of a sexual harm prevention order when he targeted the boy.

The 31-year-old was arrested after the boy told his mother about what had happened to him.

Briggs, of no fixed address, was interviewed and denied carrying out the sex attack.

He later pleaded guilty to rape.

The court heard he has a conviction for indecently assaulting a boy at a cinema in 2004.

In 2015 he was jailed for inciting a ten-year-old girl to engage in sexual activity.

Briggs was returned to prison in 2019 for breaching a sexual harm prevention order.

The mother of the victim of his latest attack attended Leeds Crown Court to see Briggs sentenced.

She broke down in tears as she read a victim impact statement to the court in which she described the devastating impact of the offence upon her family.

Describing Briggs as a ‘monster’, she told the court: “It breaks my heart imagining how scared my little boy must have been.

“Why could something so horrible happen to my family.

“Tears seem to constantly fill my eyes.”

The woman described how her son continues to suffer as a result of his ordeal.

She described how she has to comfort her son when he awakes screaming and crying in the night.

The mother added: “I often feel helpless and just wish I could take it away.

“I am scared about what the future holds for him.

“I pray every single day (he) will be ok.”

The mother also described how her son needed professional emotional support but it had been put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

She continued: “No child or parent should ever have to experience sexual abuse.”

Briggs was given an extended prison sentence totalling 17 years and nine months.

He must serve a custodial term of nine years and nine months followed by a licence period of eight years.

Judge Simon Batiste said: “You have previous sexual convictions. You have shown a total failure and refusal to engage and work to address your sexual offending.

“The assessment by the probation service is that you present an extremely high risk of causing serious harm.”

March 2015

Leeds sex offender targeted girl, 10, as she played in street

A SEX offender who targeted a ten-year-old girl as she was out playing with her friends has been jailed.

Gareth Briggs, 26, was sent to prison for two years, four months after a court heard how he tried to get the youngster to take off her clothes during a game of hide and seek.

Leeds Crown Court heard Briggs approached the girl as she was playing with friends during the school summer holidays last year in the West Park area of the city. Briggs persuaded the youngsters the come with him to play a game of hide and seek and preyed on the youngster when he was alone with her.

The court heard the youngster was brave enough to refuse his demands to undress.

Briggs then offered to buy the girl sweets if she went along with his demands but she continued to refuse.

Briggs then told her that she would be in a lot of trouble if she told anyone what had happened.

The victim’s mother later reported the incident and Briggs, who was living in a flat at Clayton Court at the time of the incident, was arrested. He pleaded guilty to inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity.

Briggs, now of Bishops Court, Huddersfield, has a previous conviction for groping a young boy in a public toilet

Adrian Pollard, mitigating, described Briggs as immature for his age and said he was not fully aware of how serious his offending was.

Judge Geoffrey Marson, QC, said: “You pose a high risk of harm to children and you pose a high level of risk of re-offending in a sexual manner.”