June 2023

Pervert shop worker groomed young girls

A paedophile shop worker who groomed young children with free sweets, cigarettes and alcohol has been jailed for 14 years.

Christopher White, 37, worked at a shop in the village of Layer De Haye near Colchester in Essex between 2007 and 2009.

He was in his 20s at the time, and used his position as a shopkeeper to befriend girls under the age of 13, before sexually exploiting them.

An investigation was launched in 2019, after some of White’s victims reported the assaults to Essex Police.

White, who lived in Mill Lane in Birch, was arrested and charged with:

  • Two counts of rape of a child under 13,

  • One count of sexual assault of a child under 13,

  • One count of sexual assault of a child over 13,

  • Two counts of sexual activity with a child under 13

  • One count of sexual activity with a child over 13.

He was sentenced to 14 years in jail and must serve at least nine years and four months before being eligible for parole.

In a statement, one of the victims said they experienced “feeling unloved and broken” during their teenage years.

“It never made sense back then,” she added. “It wasn’t until I reported to the police that I discovered I was never in the wrong.”

In a direct statement to White, the victim said: “You made me endure a year of waiting for a trial and then a two-week court process because you could not admit to the abuse you made me suffer.

“Now as an adult knowing the severity and reality of what you did and how you robbed me of my childhood and that it was in no way my fault, this was so hard to cope with.”

Another victim added: “Just because we have justice, doesn’t mean it’s forgotten. I have to live the rest of my life knowing this happened, it’s imprinted on me forever.”

Judge Mary Loram KC said the effect on the victims’ lives remained heart-breaking.

She added: “It is tempting to call you pathetic but that would be wrong.

“You are manipulative, wholly self-centred and oblivious to how other men feel.”