June 2022

Sex offender Sherwood still not been sentenced over medical report

A pervert that sexually groomed someone he believed was a 14-year-old girl has still not been sentenced after yet another delay over his medical report.

Matthew Sherwood is now due to be sentenced at Worcester Crown Court on Friday, June 17, almost five months after he first admitted the offences.

The 37-year-old pleaded guilty to sexual offences before magistrates in late January, hiding behind a human shield of supporters outside court.

There have so far been five court hearings about this one case – four at Worcester Crown Court alone – at a time when judges and magistrates are still working to clear the backlog of cases created by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

He was due to be sentenced on March 2 but the case was adjourned for six weeks 

However, by this date a report had still not become available to the defence and the case was adjourned until May 11.

At that hearing the case was once more adjourned until May 26 and, upon that date, it was yet again adjourned because of the absence of the report. 

The defendant, of Mandalay Drive, Norton, Worcester, admitted attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity, attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child and having indecent images of children.

Sherwood was screened at court by supporters who formed a ‘human shield’ so he could not be photographed.

At a hearing at Worcester Magistrates Court on January 27, Sherwood had pleaded guilty to attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child between January 31, 2020 and February 8, 2020.

He further admitted attempting to cause or incite a girl aged 13 to 15 to engage in sexual activity between January 31, 2020 and February 8, 2020.

Judge James Burbidge QC warned Sherwood in April: “You must not put in your mind that you will necessarily avoid immediate custody. You must ready yourself for that. These are serious matters.”

The case was previously opened by David Jackson, prosecuting, who said Sherwood was caught by a group called ‘No More Secrets’, an online child protection unit using the profile of a fictional 14-year-old girl.

Sherwood was granted unconditional bail. A draft sexual harm prevention order will also be considered.