A MAN dubbed a ‘serious sexual predator’ by police has been jailed after being convicted of sexually assaulting a young child.
Michael Plunkett, 66, was given a 10-year sentence comprising five years in custody and five years on extended licence.
The conviction is Plunkett’s third for sexual offences against children.
“This is a fantastic result against a significant and serious sexual predator,” said Sergeant Stephen Wells of Northamptonshire Police.
On May 18 last year, the force received a report from the victim’s mother that Plunkett, of Hanemill Court, Northampton, had sexually assaulted her young child the previous evening.
As part of an investigation by the force’s Child Abuse Investigation Unit (CAIU), Plunkett was arrested and charged with one count of sexually assaulting a girl under 13 by touching.
He appeared before Northampton Magistrates’ Court on May 20, 2023 where he entered a not guilty plea and was remanded into custody.
However, Plunkett was found guilty by a jury at Northampton Crown Court last November before being sentenced at the same court this month.
At his sentencing hearing, Plunkett — who has two previous convictions for sexual offences against children — was given an extended sentence by the judge.
Extended sentences are intended to protect the public from those judged to be dangerous sexual or violent offenders.
“Michael Plunkett did not care about the harm he caused to this young child, and I am very pleased to see him receive this significant sentence which reflects the seriousness of his offending,” added Sergeant Wells.
“I would like to pay tribute to the survivor in this case, and also express my thanks to the investigating officer who worked hard to both support the victim and their family, and to ensure the evidence presented to the jury left them in no doubt of Plunkett’s guilt.”
Plunkett was placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.
He is also subject to a sexual harm prevention order, which bans him from having unsupervised contact with any female under the age of 16.