May 2023

Man jailed for six years for Margate park attack

A man who attacked a schoolgirl as she walked through a Margate park has been jailed.

The victim was walking through Dane Park during the early evening of Tuesday 7 December 2022 when she noticed a man was following and had tried to hide behind a tree when she looked back.

The girl phoned her mother, but it was then the man – Steven Palmer – grabbed her from behind and pushed her to the ground.

Palmer tried to remove her clothing, touching her inappropriately and sexually assaulting her.

The incident had been seen by another girl in the park who had also heard the victim scream. The witness ran to a group of nearby dog walkers and alerted them to the crime taking place.

One of the dog walkers shone his torch over the area and located the offender and victim on the ground. He pushed Palmer away from the victim.

Palmer was confronted by the group and he tried to assault one of the men. He was then stopped from leaving the scene while the police were called and he was arrested.

The 45-year-old of Sussex Avenue in Margate was charged with one count of sexual touching of a girl which he admitted at Canterbury Crown Court. An additional offence of common assault against one of the witnesses will lie on file.

Palmer was sentenced on Thursday 11 May 2023 to six years in prison and must carry out a further three years on licence once released. He will also be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.