June 2022

Essex ex-teaching assistant jailed for sexual assault

A former teaching assistant has been jailed for the sexual assault of a child under 13.

Essex Police officers from the child abuse investigation teams (CAIT) arrested 25-year-old Michael Pena-Briggs shortly after an offence was reported to the force in March 2019.

Following a complex investigation he was charged in October 2019 with sexual assault of a child under 13.

Pena-Briggs, of The Grove in Cambridge, faced his first trial for the offence at Chelmsford Crown Court in May 2021 but was met with a hung jury.

The retrial began last month where he was found guilty.

It took less than two hours for the jury to reach the verdict.

At the same court on Monday he was jailed for four years. He will also be on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.