November 2011

Teenager locked up for abuse of girl, 10, found dead in cell

A TEENAGER jailed this month for sexually abusing a 10-year-old has been found dead.

Christopher Neale was found in his cell at Glen Parva Young Offenders’ Institution in Leicestershire. The Derby Telegraph understands he was not on suicide watch.

A Prison Service spokesman said: “Prisoner Christopher Neale was found hanging in his cell at HMYOI Glen Parva at approximately 9am on Saturday. Staff attempted resuscitation but he was pronounced dead at approximately 9.05am.

“As with all deaths in custody, the independent prisons and probation ombudsman will conduct an investigation.”

Neale, 19, of Burke Drive, Somercotes, was sentenced to two years in a young offenders’ institute after admitting causing or inciting a girl under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity.

Derby Crown Court heard he was alone with the girl in Alfreton when he asked her to perform a sexual act on him.

Speaking for him at the time, Neale’s barrister, Clive Stockwell, told Derby Crown Court his client was “shy and quiet and immature for his age” and had been smoking cannabis on the night of the offence.

Mr Stockwell said he “behaved in a despicable way” but that nobody had concerns about Neale previously.

The court heard how the day after the incident the victim, who cannot be identified, told her teacher what had happened and police were called. The girl said Neale had asked her to do more but she refused and the defendant did not persist.

The court heard the girl had found it more difficult to trust people since the incident.

Grace Hale, prosecuting, said the victim’s mother had said that, since the incident, her daughter had changed.

Mrs Hale said the victim had been “a trusting little girl” but was “now wary of people.”

Sentencing Neale at the time, Judge Michael Fowler said that he recognised Neale was “perhaps immature and of good character” and that “people spoke well of him.”

Neale’s punishment also saw him sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years.

He was also banned from working with children and ordered not to seek the company of anyone aged 16 or under unless an adult was present.

Derbyshire police, who investigated the original crime, MP Nigel Mills, whose constituency covers Somercotes, and town and county councillor Paul Smith declined to comment on Neale’s death.