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Sex offender sexually assaulted child and told a jury they were lying | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey


Joseph Fenwick, who now uses name Jessica Enfield after transitioning to a woman, was convicted of a charge of sexual assault of a child under 13 during a trial.

Jurors saw through the 31-year-old’s lies, which a judge said was a ‘mechanism to avoid responsibility and deny the behaviour engaged in’.

The defendant, from Latchford, was subsequently locked up and hit with restrictions designed to limit the ability to commit further offences upon release from prison.

Anna Price, prosecuting the case, explained to Chester Crown Court how the case proceeded to sentence after the defendant was convicted by a jury following a three-day trial.

The offending, which it is believed occurred in Runcorn, came to light after the victim disclosed to their mother that the defendant had touched them in a sexual manner and told them that they could not reveal what had happened as it was a ‘secret’ and ‘something bad would happen’ if they told.

When challenged about the accusation, the defendant cited bad memory and an inability to remember – something relied upon during the trial.

The defendant told police officers when arrested that he ‘hated himself’ for what he had done, but then gave no comment during a police interview the next day.

When interviewed, the victim said that the defendant touched them over their clothing.

In an impact statement, the victim’s mother outlined the effect the defendant’s offending has had on her family.

Summarising the statement, Ms Price said: “The defendant did the worst thing imaginable and could have destroyed my life. I lost who I was at the time.”

She said she was trying to rebuild the lives of her and the victim, but that this was ongoing, adding that the defendant ‘is not going to stop them from having the best lives’.

The statement added: “I do not want anyone else to experience what my family has gone through,” as well as how the victim blames themselves for what happened.

The court heard how the defendant has one previous conviction from 2010 for wounding, for which the court imposed a community order.

Defending his client, Mark Pritchard said that an immediate custodial sentence would be punitive-only, with no rehabilitative elements in prison.

He said that the defendant now accepts the verdict of the jury and wants mental health help to ensure such offending does not happen again, which Mr Pritchard said demonstrates a ‘development of insight’.

The defendant is also considered to pose a low risk of reoffending and does have a ‘realistic prospect of rehabilitation’, it was said.

The barrister asked recorder Mark Ford to impose a suspended sentence of imprisonment, but this plea fell on deaf ears.

The judge highlighted how further activity of a sexual nature was suggested through investigations, however the prosecution proceeded on the basis of a single allegation of sexual touching, so the defendant was to be sentenced on this sole matter.

“The victim made plain that you took steps to try to ensure they said nothing about the assault. You told them they must not say anything to their mother or something bad would happen to them,” recorder Ford said.

“You claim to have no recollection of the events alleged, blaming your poor memory throughout. I consider this was probably a mechanism to avoid responsibility for your actions and to enable you to deny to yourself the true nature of your behaviour.”

He continued: “The victim was compelled to give evidence by your insistence to go to trial.

“That experience, coupled with the experience of the offending itself, is likely to have emotional and psychological consequences on the victim.

“Not only did you compel the victim to and their mother to give evidence, you suggested they deliberately lied. That contention was flatly rejected by the jury.”

Recorder Ford concluded: “Your counsel submits that the sentence can be suspended – I disagree. This offence is so serious that only a sentence of immediate custody can be justified.”

Fenwick, whose address on court documents was listed as Poachers Lane, was sentenced to two years in prison.

The defendant was also ordered to comply with a sexual harm prevention order and restraining order and sign the sex offender register – all three for 10 years.





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