January 2022

Teignmouth man jailed for sexually assaulting child

A Teignmouth man has been jailed for sexually molesting an eight-year-old girl.

Richard Griffiths was visiting a house in Torbay when he assaulted the child.

The 37-year-old denied two charges of sexually assaulting a child under 13 but was found guilty after a trial in December.

He has been jailed for two years and nine months.

Exeter Crown Court was read a victim personal statement by the mother of the child who said the incident had had a profound effect on her daughter.

“This has caused my family immense stress and trauma,” she said.

“My daughter has suffered mental trauma and doesn’t sleep well.” She said the child was now distrustful of men and prone to bursts of anger.

“I feel my daughter’s innocence has been taken away from her in such a way that her childhood is ruined and her memories stolen.”

The offence dates back to 2019.

Prosecutor Ms Bathsheba Cassel said Griffiths said Griffiths had been drinking the night before the assault. He twice put his hands inside the child’s clothes to touch her. He was arrested after the child told her parents what had happened.

The defendant, of Barnpark Terrace, has previous convictions for cannabis growing and was subject to a suspended sentence at the time of the offence.

Judge Peter Johnson said he had seen Griffiths shaking his head when evidence was heard during the trial.

“You stood trial and the jury disbelieved you,” the judge told him.

He said the young victim had suffered psychological damage as a result of the incident.

Griffiths was made subject to a 10-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order restricting his access to children and must sign the sex offender register. He will serve half of the sentence in custody ands the rest on licence.