Man jailed for sexual offences - Wokingham

03/05/2016

A man appeared at Reading Crown Court today, Tuesday, 03 May 2016, and was jailed for three years for sexual offences in Wokingham, Berkshire.

Nicholas Faithfull, aged 20, of Glebe Gardens, Sonning, was sentenced after being found guilty on 23 March 2016, at Reading Crown Court, by a jury, after an eight-day trial, of eight counts of sexual activity with a child.

At the start of the trial, Faithfull pleaded guilty to one count of causing/inciting sexual activity with a child.

The offences were committed against five girls between 1 January 2014 and 1 June 2015 in Wokingham, Berkshire.

Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "This case involved sexual activity, between a teenage boy aged 17-18, now aged 20, and five schoolgirls, aged 13-15, between 1 January 2014 and 1 June 2015, in Wokingham, Berkshire.

"Nicholas Faithfull preyed on the young girls via social media, namely Facebook and Blackberry Messenger (BBM), befriended them, flattered them, engaged them in sexual chat and then sexually abused them for his own sexual gratification. Despite the sexual activity being consensual, the girls were under the legal age of consent and he was fully aware of that. It is only due to the great courage of the victims that the disgraceful behaviour of this man has been exposed. I would like to pay tribute to them for their strength and tenacity in coming forward.

"Faithfull denied any sexual wrongdoing or inappropriate conduct, but on 23 March 2016, at Reading Crown Court, he was found guilty, by a jury, after an eight-day trial of eight counts of sexual activity with a child. At the beginning of the trial, he pleaded guilty to one count of causing or inciting sexual activity with a child.

"The convictions and today's sentence serve as an important message to people who have been the victim of crimes such as these, or those that know such crimes are being committed, that they should come forward. The CPS will work closely with partners, as we did with Thames Valley Police in this case, to ensure that robust criminal cases are put before the courts.

"The emotional impact, on the victims and their families, of the actions of this man is impossible to quantify. I hope that the convictions and sentence give some small comfort to them. Our thoughts are very much with them all at this time."

Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Bosley of Force CID in Berkshire, said: "I want to thank the victims of these terrible crimes for their bravery throughout this investigation and during the trial.  They have ensured that Faithfull cannot commit similar crimes against other young girls.

"Faithfull knew full well that these girls were underage, but he still set about grooming them online and before perpetrating his crimes.

"I hope this case will give others the confidence to come forward and report crimes or concerns they may have about similar inappropriate behaviour of adults towards children. Thames Valley Police takes all such reports seriously and will investigate them fully."