June 2020

Man who groped schoolgirl jailed for six years

A man who admitted grabbing a schoolgirl’s breasts on a number of occasions has been jailed.

Caernarfon Crown Court heard Thomas John Ferguson sexually abused a girl under 16 in Colwyn Bay several times between 2008 and 2009.

He pleaded guilty to two charges of sexual activity with a child under the age of 16.

The 58-year-old of Shackleton Place, Oldbrook, Milton Keynes said he didn’t know why he groped her breasts, but said he “may have just been wondering how they felt.”

Judge Timothy Petts jailed Ferguson for six years.

He ordered him to register as a sex offender for life and made him the subject of a sexual harm prevention order.

Ferguson, who was not represented in court, was also barred from working with children and vulnerable adults in future.

Judge Petts, said: “On several occasions you would put your hands down her top and on her breasts.

“When matters first came to light, there was a time where you denied it.”

He added: “It’s clear she’s been severely affected by your abuse.”

Prosecutor Ryan Rothwell said the historic offences took place when the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was between the ages of 13 and 14.

She had initially spoken out to police about the offences in June 2017, claiming that on several occasions the defendant came up to her and put his hands down her top and onto her breasts.

The court heard the victim recalled that sometimes he would “hurt when he did it”, and would go on for about a minute each time.

Mr Rothwell said: “She never said anything, she would just wait for him to stop doing it.

“Sometimes, bizarrely, the defendant would make friendly conversation with her whilst touching her.”

At the time, Ferguson was interviewed but denied any sexual abuse at the time.

It was taken no further.

In June 2018, when he was voluntarily interviewed, he said he didn’t know why he had assaulted her, but “may have just been wondering how they felt.”

In a victim impact statement, the victim said the abuse “affected her in a variety of ways”.

Mr Rothwell said while Ferguson’s previous convictions are limited, he would likely have committed the offences while carrying out a 12 month community order in 2008 for an unrelated matter.