April 1999

Weeley man jailed for assault on young girl

A man tried to rape an eight-year-old girl as they lay in bed together.

And on Wednesday Edward Breeds, 22, was sent to prison for five years following his admission of two charges of attempted rape, three specimen charges of indecent assault and two specimen charges of gross indecency with a child under 16.

The offences happened between the Christmas of 1994 – when the girl was just six years old – and 1998 after Breeds moved from Kent to an address in Chisbon Heath, Weeley.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard how he would pinch the girl’s bottom, and later started touching her intimately.

Stephen Harvey, prosecuting, said many of the offences took place while the pair watched television together in bed, but Mr Harvey said Breeds would also hold the girl’s hands behind her back and touch her while she was standing up.

The girl told police: “I was crying my eyes out. He would say ‘This feels good’, and I kept saying I didn’t like it and that I would tell my dad. Mr Harvey added: “He told her that no-one would believe her.”

After Breeds was arrested he told officers: “I tried to stop myself but I didn’t know how.”

But Mr Harvey said: “Breeds said that she had instigated sexual play.”

Jeremy Lynn, mitigating, said Breeds had the intellectual age of a 12-year-old with an IQ of just 76.

He added: “Mr Breeds does not represent a danger to the public and he does not represent a danger to children.”

Mr Lynn added Breeds knew it was wrong to do what he did. He is very ashamed by what he has done and regrets it from the bottom of his heart.”

Judge Benjamin Pearson sentenced Breeds to a total of five years’ imprisonment. Breeds will also remain on the sex offenders register indefinitely.

Describing Breeds’ actions as “disgraceful and disgusting”, Mr Pearson went on to say: “Your young victim was clearly very frightened by what you were doing and attempting to do to her.

“This was systematic and determined sexual abuse of a very young child. Such behaviour cannot and will not be tolerated.”