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Gloucestershire Business News

Man sentenced for molesting a girl he was babysitting

A 45-year-old Bristol man has been jailed for six-and-a-half years for molesting a four-year-old Gloucester girl while babysitting her in 2020.

Jamie White, of Atlas Close, Speedwell, Bristol, was found guilty by a jury at Gloucester Crown Court earlier this year of sexually assaulting the girl on February 20, 2020.

The court heard from the child's mother who said that the incident has been life-changing for her daughter because of the ongoing effects it has had on her.

She said: "My family's lives were changed dramatically following the actions of White, who I was led to believe was a man who could be trusted.

"My daughter has suffered in a number of ways since the assault that night. She now struggles to form new relationships, especially with men - she initially pulled away from her relationship with her Daddy, but this is now improving.

"She still struggles with other men in her life, like teachers, and often walks out of lessons when a man is in front of the class.

"She is also regressing emotionally, and is undergoing therapy for this, but it's a long journey. I have also been in and out of therapy in trying to come to terms with what's going on.

"We've even had to move away from Gloucester and rebuild our lives elsewhere in the country, losing all the friendships and the support network we had built up in this area. This has also been hard for my daughter's siblings.

"All this has impacted on the whole family. It has also impacted on us financially. When we moved our daughter was given a whole new set of bedroom furniture so that no bad memories came with her to our new home.

"She is now behind the normal development in her speech and development. The damage caused by this incident has been life-changing for her and the whole family. I am glad that we can now draw a line under the court process.

"But the damage remains that my daughter has had her innocence stolen from her."

Pina Silvio, defending White, told the court: "He still stands by his not guilty plea, but accepts he has to punished following conviction - but please spare a thought for his own family."

In sentencing White to a jail term of six-and-a-half years, the Judge, Recorder Anthony Hawks, told him: "You denied the sexual offence at trial and I note that you continue to this day to deny the offence.

"That of course is your privilege, but as your counsel acknowledges you cannot receive any deduction from your sentence because you didn't spare the victim the ordeal of attending court to give evidence.

"The evidence I heard during the trial including hearing from the girl's mother who stated that you had told her that you had clearance from the disclosure and barring service allowing you to have contact with young children.

"That was plainly a lie. What you said can only have been designed to reassure the child's mother and to persist in facilitating access to her daughter, who would have been vulnerable as she was only four years of age.

"You had previously been convicted of indecently assaulting a young child whom you were babysitting, yet during this trial you also denied committing the earlier offence. You were sent to prison on that occasion after trying to gain employment at a Gloucester nursery using false documentation.

"Your offending in which you were found guilty by a jury was a gross abuse of trust. You have 21 convictions for 53 offences, most of which were for dishonesty.

"As is inevitably the case with the sexual abuse of a child, the consequences have been catastrophic, as can be heard in the victim impact statement. The girl is struggling at school, and it has affected her relationship with her father and other men in her life. She is now having to receive professional help to overcome these issues.

"Her mother describes the effects of the abuse as life-changing for her daughter.

"If you offend again in a similar manner, once you are released from prison, I am giving you fair warning that you will most likely receive an extended sentence of imprisonment as a dangerous offender."

The judge ordered that White be subject to the terms of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and be placed on the sex offenders' register until further notice.

During his trial the jury of nine men and two women saw the four year old girl relate in a video-recorded interview how White had licked her on the genitals while looking after her.

Prosecutor Christopher Smyth said: "When the mother took the children upstairs to bed she asked her daughter if she had a good day and she replied 'Yes...and no.' Her mother queried this and the young girl said that Jamie had hit her in the face with a cloth.

"She quizzed her daughter, asking if this was while they were playing? She replied 'maybe'. The little girl then said: 'Jamie licked my vulva,' a word she had been taught about the anatomy of her body.

"The mother was horrified by this and asked if she was telling the truth and she added that people could get into trouble for saying things like that. The girl said it was true."

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