A 39-year-old man who sexually abused four young girls in two force areas has today (Tuesday 27 July) been jailed for 14 years.
Gareth Berry committed the offences at addresses in Leicester and Northampton between 2011 and 2016. The youngest victim was just 12 when Berry began abusing her.
In 2016, two victims living in Northampton reported the abuse to police and an investigation began. As a result of enquires into the circumstances, two victims living in Leicester identified themselves to officers from the force’s Child Abuse Investigation Unit (CAIU) and said they too had been sexually abused by Berry.
Despite denying the allegations he was charged with a string of offences. On Thursday 22 July, following a trial at Leicester Crown Court, Berry – of Houldsworth Crescent in Coventry – was found guilty of:
Six counts of sexually assaulting a child under 13
Three counts of sexual activity with a child
One count of assaulting a child under 13 by penetration
Berry is also subject to an extended licence period of one year, an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) and has been placed on the sex offenders register for life.
Detective Raj Pahal, from the CAIU, was one of the investigating officers. He said: “All four victims were children when Berry began abusing them. He took advantage of them for his own sexual gratification in the belief that they wouldn’t tell anyone about what he was doing.
“However, as they got older they realised what had happened and reported his crimes to police. I hope the fact that he has been convicted of his crimes – and is now serving a significant custodial sentence – will provide some reassurance and allow them to begin to move on with their lives.”
There are a number of different agencies who are able to offer independent help and support to victims of sexual offences in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland
Further information on these services and details can be found by visiting https://www.leics.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/rsa/rape-and-sexual-assault/
Further information about online child abuse can be found by visiting https://www.leics.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/caa/child-abuse/online-child-abuse/
Leicestershire Police News 27/07/2021