Westcliff man is locked up for sexually touching a girl

A pervert who sexually touched a girl under the age of 16 has been jailed for eight months and placed on the sex offenders list for a decade.

Thomas Gale, 35, from Carisbrooke Road, Westcliff, touched the inside of the girl’s leg near her private region.

During the hearing at Basildon Crown Court yesterday, the court heard the girl was left extremely anxious after the incident and has struggled to leave the house since.

A victim impact statement, read to the court, said: “I struggled to sleep and got upset and kept crying when I thought about it and I was nervous before but this has made it worse.

“I struggled to eat and worry about going out and get the shakes when I do.”

Judge Samantha Cohen sentenced Gale to eight months in prison.

Prosecuting, Brian Reece, said Gale did not touch the girl under her clothes.

He said: “He became very affectionate and with his arm around her, he started touching her inner thigh and was close to her private parts.

“He did not touch her under her clothes.

“He had been drinking and had about seven cans of beer, the girl was shaking and her teeth were chattering as she was scared.

“He said she was cold and he was warming her up and he touched her bum.

“In an interview he admitted he may be attracted to her when she is older.”

Mitigating Anthony Abell told the court Gale is sorry for his actions.

He said: “It seems to some extend that he saw her as attractive.

“What he did was wrong and inappropriate and he knows how upsetting this was for her too.”

Sentencing Gale, Judge Cohen said: “You pressed yourself against her and she was distressed and it was troubling for her.

“When you were arrested you said you expected it and said you thought you would go to prison for touching her but you still did it.”

Gale will be on the sex offenders list for 10 years and must tell police where he lives.