A WEDDING party DJ who jumped bail during his trial for indecently assaulting a two-year-old girl and had to be CS gassed after a police chase, was yesterday convicted of the offence and told he faced jail.
Jeremy Britton, 34, of Station Road, Sway, failed to appear at Bournemouth Crown Court on Wednesday morning – the third day of his trial. It wasn’t until the early afternoon that police spotted him driving his car near Christchurch.
They pursued him to the banks of the river at Iford where he parked his car and ran. Officers sprayed him with CS gas before he could enter the water and escape.
The defendant, previously bailed to his home address, was remanded in custody and the case resumed on Thursday.
Jurors were not told of Britton’s bail offence until they had delivered their verdict.
After the jury convicted him of the charge, which related to an incident at a wedding party at the Springfield Hotel in Wareham on December 17 last year, Judge Stuart Harington told Britton he would remain in custody while pre-sentence reports were prepared.
Judge Harington said: “You should know that as you go from here you go with the probability that when you return you will receive a custodial sentence.”
The jury had heard from prosecutor, Stephen Dent, that Britton changed his version of events for a third time when confronted by DNA evidence.
When first confronted about the offence, which took place in a toilet, by the girl’s mother just after 12.21am Britton denied it, saying to the girl: “We were dancing, weren’t we?”
After that he told police he had been drunk and had gone to the toilet to be sick and had not seen the little girl.
When told four months later that his salival DNA had been found on the girl’s clothing Britton said he had been instructed by his solicitor to lie in the initial interview and came up with another version of events.
This time he claimed the girl had been sitting on the toilet in a cubicle he entered to be sick while very drunk and he moved her from the seat.