December 2021

Practising Christian locked up for sexually abusing two children

A practising Christian has been locked up for six years for sexually abusing two children.

Married Mark Humphryes, aged 59, took advantage of the boy and the girl after getting them alone, a court heard. Neither victim were known to each other.

He touched the boy once while pretending to help him go to the toilet at a house party in the South Hams last year.

Londoner Humphryes repeatedly abused the girl over five years, including touching her in a swimming pool, Plymouth Crown Court heard.

She told the court that she was still “scarred” by what had happened and suffering from flashbacks six years later.

Humphryes denied the offences despite his DNA being found on the boy’s body and forced the youngster to give evidence to a court ahead of the scheduled trial.

The court heard that he was confronted soon after the assault on the boy.

Jailing him for six years, Judge William Mousley said: “You said he wanted to go to the toilet and that he needed help. You said ‘hand on heart’ that you had not done anything.

“Your offending has had a significant impact on both of your victims. As far as (girl’s name) is concerned, she believes that her life will always bear the scars of what you did.”

He added that her childhood memories would always be blighted by the attacks.

Judge Mousley said the parents of the younger boy were worried about the impact during his later life.

He added: “You have been married for 30 years, you have no children and you are an active Christian”.

The judge ruled that he was a dangerous offender and should only be considered for release by the parole board after four years rather than at the usual half-way point.

Humphryes, of Tregenna Avenue, South Harrow in London, admitted four counts of sexual assault of a child between 2010 and 2015. One of the counts reflect multiple incidents of similar behaviour.

He also pleaded guilty to sexual assault of the boy in August 2020.

The defendant entered the pleas on the first day of his trial last month.

The boy had already given his evidence over a video-link – footage which was to be shown to the jury.

Jason Beal, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said that police were called after the last incident in the South Hams last summer.

He added that discussions about the allegation brought out the complaints from the girl about what had happened more than five years before.

The female victim said in a statement read to the court by the barrister: “It was unforgivable and I will never forget.”

The court heard that she was still suffering flashbacks.

She added that she had put her life “on hold” and her education had suffered in the year leading up to the court case.