June 2023

Paedophile Kettering shop worker who groomed girl with sweets loses bid to reduce prison spell

A paedophile who abused a girl after grooming her with sweets has failed in a bid to have his prison spell reduced.

Shop worker Shibin Vimala Santhakumar, of Pipers Hill Road in Kettering, groomed, manipulated and engaged the schoolgirl into sexual intercourse and took an indecent picture of her after gradually building her trust.

In November at Northampton Crown Court he was jailed for 11 years with a further two years on licence, a sentence which he appealed against.

But on Tuesday (June 20) judges dismissed the bid and said 46-year-old Santhakumar had exploited his victim.

London’s Royal Courts of Justice heard the girl was taken advantage of when she was vulnerable.

Santhakumar gave his victim extra change and free treats before engaging in sexual activity with her. The court heard he told her he had ‘done it with a teenager before’.

When the victim reported the offences to Northamptonshire Police Santhakumar initially denied the allegations.

He was later charged with sexual activity with a child, inciting sexual activity with a child and possession of indecent images of children, pleading guilty to some offences before his trial and being convicted of all remaining charges by a jury.

Appeal judges Lord Justice Males, Mr Justice Wall and Her Honour Judge Rosa Dean said they agreed with the sentencing judge’s assessment.

Lord Justice Males said: “In our judgement the sentence was not arguably manifestly excessive and the application is refused.”