March 2018

A catering company boss has been jailed for seven years after indecently assaulting a schoolgirl and repeatedly subjecting her to sex attacks.

Deborah Evans, 44, of Deere Place, in Ely, Cardiff, was convicted of 11 counts of indecent assault in February after a trial.

It had taken the jury at Cardiff Crown Court seven and a half hours to return their guilty verdicts for Evans, who owns and runs Cardiff Cuisine Catering.

The court heard the assaults took place in the late 1990s when the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was under 16.

The trial was told the complainant waited for several years before making a complaint to the police but had kept a diary as a schoolgirl which detailed the incidents.

The court heard the girl confided in a teacher at the time of the attacks but she decided not to “pursue” the allegations after they were reported to social services.

The complainant told the jury she looked up to Evans. But she said Evans began to make advances towards her, including trying to kiss her on the lips when they were alone together.

Evans was jailed for a total of seven years and told she would have to register as a sex offender indefinitely.

A victim impact statement was read to the court by prosecutor Heath Edwards. He said of the victim: “She’ll never truly be able to explain the effects of the abuse.”

Sentencing, Judge Michael Fitton QC told Evans the victim had been “groomed and managed to satisfy your own sexual desires”.

He added that there was “overwhelming evidence” that the harm she suffered was “severe”.