September 2010

Jail for drug addict who sexually abused young girl

A DRUG addict who worked as a male prostitute from the age of 15 has been jailed for sexually assaulting a young girl.

Gary Roberts, who was living in west Cornwall at the time, gave the seven-year-old dexamphetamine and abused her at an address in west Cornwall.

Roberts, who gave his address as Ferris Road, Truro, pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual assault and one count of administering a substance with intent. His offending was only detected when Roberts told police what he had done.

Sentencing Roberts to four years and two months in prison – reduced from seven because of his confession – Judge Paul Darlow urged members of the public “who have done wrong” to hand themselves in to police. He said: “If people having done wrong are prepared to come forward and admit their wrongdoing, they’ll receive greater discount.”

Iain Leadbetter, prosecuting, said Roberts, 45, had fantasised about having sex with a young girl. He told his partner at the time he had the degenerative genetic disorder Huntington’s disease and wanted to sleep with other people. He later admitted getting the seven-year-old victim to take the Class B drug and sexually assaulting her on more than one occasion. Roberts contacted police voluntarily to confess.

Barrie van den Berg, defending, said: “This offending was not known to police until he phoned them up and, essentially, asked to be arrested. That’s a rare position. He said, ‘Once I realised what I was doing, I stopped myself and have had to live with it ever since’.”

Sentencing Roberts, Judge Darlow said: “Your behaviour towards the girl has had an enduring effect on her and her family. They struggle to live within the consequences. But you have shown a great sense of decency (in coming forward).”

Roberts must sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.