June 2011

Valleys paedophile ‘bribed children into silence’

A PAEDOPHILE who won the trust of families in the Valleys before sexually abusing their children is beginning a five and- a-half year jail sentence today.

Jason France, 39, of no fixed address, targeted girls in and around Blackwood in the 1990s, sexually abusing them in their own homes before threatening and bribing them to keep quiet. He was jailed for five-and-a-half years yesterday after admitting eight counts of indecent assault on four girls.

Prosecutor Caroline Rees told Newport Crown Court it was France’s mode of operation to gain the trust of families, to the extent he was babysitting in some cases, before taking advantage of the children.

Miss Rees said he would touch the girls even when unsuspecting family members were in the house, and was interrupted in the living room on one occasion.

The court heard after abusing the girls he would either threaten them in order to silence them or bribe them with money and sweets.

Allegations were made by the victims against France before, but none led to his arrest until 2009 when another allegation against him prompted the victims to be interviewed.

The court heard France already served 15 months for two counts of indecent assault relating to two other girls. When arrested, he initially denied all the charges and said the girls were lying and had been put up to it by their mothers.

He claimed to suffer blackouts during the time of the abuse.

On the proposed day of trial, France asked to have a new indictment of charges read to him and pleaded guilty to all counts. Defending, Jeff Jones said a pre-sentence report described France as being at low risk of reoffending and these were not offences where the offender tried to trick or entice behaviour through drink.

He faced two charges for each girl. For one victim, he was given nine and 12 months concurrently, the second was 15 months and two years concurrently, the third was 12 months and 15 months concurrent and the fourth was 12 months and 15 months concurrent.

For each victim, the sentences will be served consecutively.