Man jailed for 11-years for sex abuse - Bedford

26/04/2012

A Bedford man who sexually abused an 11-year-old girl was jailed for 11-years on Thursday, 26 April 2012.

Nirmal Athwal, 33, who was convicted by a jury at Luton Crown Court of assault a child under 13 by penetration at an earlier hearing appeared again on Thursday, 26 April 2012, for sentence.

His barrister Warwick Aleeson said Athwal, of London Road, had been "shunned" by his community and friends since being found guilty and continued to deny the offence.

Mr Aleeson said: "He was of previous good character and has been convicted of a single isolated incident.

"Since his conviction he has been shunned by his community and his friends and he has never been to prison before.

"His wife is standing by him. Hitherto he has been a law-abiding citizen. He does not accept the jury's finding."

Jailing him, Judge Barbara Mensah told him: "The offence is so serious it carries the same sentence as rape.

"You denied it and sought to make out she was a liar in the face of firm evidence. There was overwhelming medical evidence and yet you forced her to give evidence."

Judge Mensah said Athwal will have to sign the Sex Offenders' Register for life and she banned him from working with or being alone with children.

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