December 2015

Paedophile jailed for campaign of sexual abuse against young girl

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A 60-year-old man whose long-running campaign of sexual abuse against a young girl left her emotionally ‘crippled’ was jailed for 14 years today.

Stephen Edworthy, of New Church Street in Tetbury, was convicted last month of subjecting the Forest of Dean girl to sexual offences over a six year period.

At Gloucester Crown Court today, Recorder John Trevaskis read a psychiatric report on Edworthy before passing jail terms totalling 14 years.

He told Edworthy: “Your victim says that her experiences at your hands crippled her and ruined her life.”

He added “You told the jury you were a paranoid schizophrenic but that condition did not affect your sexuality.

“The jury found your actions were entirely voluntary and deliberate.”

Recorder Trevaskis recalled that during the trial the court heard that Edworthy would hit the girl on the head to make her comply with his deviant wishes.

“There was undoubtedly also grooming involving the purchase of gifts for her,” he said.

As well as the jail term, the Recorder ordered Edworthy to sign the sex offender register for the rest of his life.

He also made a lifetime sexual harm prevention order against him, barring him from contacting or communicating with any child under 18 except with permission of parents and social services.

The order also bans him from contacting his victim in any way.

Edworthy stood impassively throughout the Recorder’s address to him and said simply ‘Thank you Your Honour’ before going downstairs to the cells.

Edworthy, who failed to attend the first two days of his trial and had to be arrested, had admitted one charge of assaulting the girl indecently by touching her when she was aged 6 to 12, between January 1996 and January 2002.

He denied 10 charges of indecently assaulting her over the same period of time.

David Maunder, prosecuting, said there were numerous occasions when Edworthy would make the girl strip and then touch her.

The offending stopped when she was 12 and as she had reached puberty but she did not call the police until October 2013 to make the allegations against Edworthy.

The offending had happened at several addresses in the Lydney, Broadwell and Lydbrook areas. Sometimes Edworthy had shown her pornography or watched it himself while carrying out the offences.

The jury found him guilty of eight of the charges.