29th Sep, 2021

Coventry man jailed for string of sexual offences against girls under 13

Sarah Mason 27th Jul, 2021 Updated: 27th Jul, 2021

A COVENTRY man who sexually abused four young girls across two police force areas has today been jailed for 14 years.

Gareth Berry committed the offences in Leicester and Northampton between 2011 and 2016 with the youngest victim aged just 12 when he began abusing her.

In 2016, two victims living in Northampton reported the abuse to police and an investigation was launched.

Enquiries into the circumstances saw two of the 39-year-old’s victims living in Leicester identifying themselves to officers from the force’s Child Abuse Investigation Unit (CAIU). They said they too had been sexually abused by Berry.

Despite denying the allegations Berry, of Houldsworth Crescent, was found guilty of a string of offences at Leicester Crown Court.

They were six counts of sexually assaulting a child under 13, three counts of sexual activity with a child and 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.

Det Raj Pahal, one of the investigators from the CAIU, 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 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.”

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