Vile predator who sexually assaulted a Wigan schoolgirl has been jailed
A vile predator who sexually assaulted a Wigan schoolgirl has been put behind bars.
Craig Berry committed the two horrific sex crimes against the 14-year-old in November last year.
The 43-year-old, formerly from Hindley but now of Worsley, had continuously denied the shocking acts, but was found guilty by a jury at Bolton Crown Court last month.
The jurors had been unable to come to a conclusion on a third count of sexual assault and on another of assault by penetration, following the seven day trial that was originally st to last only four days.
At the same courthouse, Berry was jailed for more than three years by Judge Richard Gioserano, who said he had shown “not even a jot of remorse” for his crimes.
Jurors had previously heard how Berry did not believe his victim would tell anyone that he had sexually assaulted her.
But the devastated teenager bravely confided in a friend at school the following day, before later telling one of her teachers.
Social services were notified immediately, as were the police who arrested Berry.
Appallingly, Berry continued to deny the charges when pressed by detectives, meaning his victim was forced to attend court to give evidence against him.
All of the charges against him related to the same teenager, but the jury was unable to decide on two of them and returned as a hung jury.
Berry was condemned by the judge for denying his sickening offences, who said: “You lacked the courage and decency to admit what you had done.
“You have shown not even a jot of remorse for what you have done.”
Berry had inflicted further psychological abuse on his young victim by denying his acts up to the point of being found guilty, said the judge, who said he feared the teenager would be “emotionally scarred for life.”
The judge added that Berry, who is a father himself, “deserved” to lose contact with his family following his conviction.
He was given three years in custody for the sexual offences, and a further six months for two counts of breaching a restraining order, relating to the same case.
He will serve half of his sentence behind bars, and the remainder will be served on license.
He must also sign the sex offenders’ register for life.
The young victim was in the courtroom, accompanied by her family, to see Berry caged.
She sat behind a screen, shielding her from the view of Berry, whom she had not seen since speaking out against him.
Berry, who was sitting in the dock nearby and wearing a blue jumper, did not speak during proceedings, nodding only to confirm his name.
He made no reaction when he learned his fate, staring straight ahead before being taken away by a security guard.
“Remorseless” predator who sexually assaulted a Wigan schoolgirl is facing long spell behind bars
A “remorseless” predator who sexually assaulted a Wigan schoolgirl is facing “substantial” jail time.
Craig Berry has been found guilty of two sex crimes against a 14-year-old.
The 43-year-old dad was convicted of two counts of sexual assault, one by a unanimous jury verdict, the other by a majority vote.
The panel was unable to come to a conclusion on a third count of sexual assault and on another of assault by penetration.
Judge Richard Gioserano presided over the trial at Bolton Crown Court, which was initially listed for four days but ultimately took seven to complete.
During the hearing, the jury was told that Berry, formerly of Hindley but now of Lindale Road, Worsley, was foiled after the devastated victim told a school teacher.
A source close to the youngster’s family said: “She was in shock when it happened. She pretended nothing had happened straight afterwards.
“But the next day she went into school and told them straight away. The school got in touch with police straight away and with social services.
“She told them it had happened in July and again in November.”
After his arrest Berry continued to deny the charges and his victim was forced to attend court to give evidence against him.
All of the charges relate to the same teenager but the jury was unable to decide on two of them and returned as a hung jury.
“What he has done has had a massive impact on all of the family,” said the source.
“He showed absolutely no remorse. He didn’t look at the jury once, he just stared straight ahead.
“He never blinked, he never coughed. It’s like he had no emotion whatsoever.”
Unless Judge Gioserano orders a retrial for the two charges which returned a hung jury, Berry will be sentenced for the other two counts on September 4 at Bolton Crown Court.
The source added: “He told him he will be looking at substantial jail time. I just want people to know what he really is.”