Benjamin Cheyne jailed after sexual assaults on minor

THE actions of a father who sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl have been described by a judge as “selfish and totally unthinkable”.

Now Benjamin Cheyne will face 11 years in prison, after he was found guilty of two counts of assault by penetration, and two counts of sexual assault against the minor.

Sentenced today, October 7, at Salisbury Crown Court, Judge Barnett described the actions that took place between February 2019 and May 2020 as “an extremely serious offence”.

“Your selfish, totally unthinkable conduct, on the last two occasions while she was sleeping, caused unthinkable damage to her,” he said.

In a statement from the victim’s mother, it was revealed that as a result of the assaults, the young girl has “deteriorating self esteem and confidence”.

“The impact is immediate and will affect her for the rest of her life,” she told the court.

It was heard that the now 11-year-old finds her own home triggering and suffers from night terrors, with a lack in sleep affecting her learning.

She worries about trusting people and making relationships, fearing Cheyne, a father-of-two himself, will come and take her away.

Judge Barnett added that what happened has had “far reaching consequences” on the victim’s “happiness, development, relationships with others and schooling”, causing “enormous trauma”.

The court heard that Cheyne, aged 32, did not agree with the jury’s guilty verdict following the trial, but respected it, and he plans to move away from the area as soon as his sentence is over.

Following his 11-year sentence, Cheyne, of Pilgrims Way, Andover, will be under licence for a year, and a sexual harm prevention order and restraining order will be in place indefinitely.