May 2023

Man, 47, found guilty of trafficking ‘vulnerable’ teenage girl to Jersey and raping her

A man has been found guilty of trafficking a “vulnerable” teenage girl to Jersey and raping her.

Shay John Edward Bester, 47, was found guilty of seven offences following a six-day trial at the island’s Royal Court.

The jury, who were unanimous in their guilty verdicts, took nearly six hours before reaching their decision following a six-day trial at the Royal Court.

He is due to be sentenced later in the year.

Officers say Bester met the girl – who was 17 at the time of the offence in November 2021 – online when he groomed her and arranged for her to come and stay with him in Jersey.

Bester first met his victim in an online chat room, where he sought to establish an emotional connection in order to gain her trust.

He then arranged for her to come to Jersey, isolating her from her family and friends, and raped her after giving her a bottle of vodka, according to court documents.

After several days, the victim was found at Bester’s home where she told officers she had been sexually and physically assaulted.

Jersey Police arrested him and seized “a number” of his electronic devices.

The victim was seen at Dewberry House – the island’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre – before returning to her family in the UK.

Officers say that while under investigation, Bester obtained a new mobile phone and used it to text his victim pretending to be a police officer.

Appearing in Jersey’s Royal Court on Wednesday 3 May, Bester was found guilty of one trafficking offence, two counts of rape, one count of sexual penetration without consent and three counts of assault.

He previously pleaded guilty to one count of impersonating a police officer.