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Rally official jailed for non-recent child abuse

|News, Sexual offences

A rally driving official from Somerset has been jailed for non-recent child sexual offences.

Simon Slade, 65, from Yeovil, groomed and manipulated a teenage girl into sexual activity over a two-year period. Slade engineered a number of situations where sexual activity took place and, during those encounters, subjected the girl to extreme sexual activity. Slade only ended the affair when his partner at the time learned what he was doing and asked him to stop.

More than two decades later, the survivor came forward to disclose what had happened, and the way she had been manipulated into sexual activity with Slade. Slade at first denied any sexual activity, but evidence of his conduct was found at his home, including a folder containing photographs and letters he had taken at the time. This evidence showed that his behaviour towards the survivor had been abusive and not simply sexual, so he was prosecuted for indecent assault and two other serious sexual offences. He was today sentenced for four years' imprisonment for the count of indecent assault and seven years' imprisonment for each of the other offences. All were to be served concurrently.

Alison O’Shea from the Crown Prosecution Service said: “Simon Slade was an abusive predator who deliberately sought out a young teenager to satisfy his perverted desires. The evidence in his possession was a sickening display of conquest and superiority.

"The survivor in this case was absolutely right to come forward and report what had happened and has told a clear compelling story throughout. By contrast, Slade has changed his story and tried to imply that the survivor is somehow to blame. He has persistently failed to take responsibility for his abusive actions, but he has now faced the consequences of what he did over 20 years ago.”

Building the case

Non-recent offences must be prosecuted according to the laws in place at the time the offences were committed. Simon Slade abused this victim before the current legislation for child sexual offences was in place. At that time, the equivalent offences to today’s sexual activity with a child had to be reported within a specific time frame. In order to prosecute Slade, the CPS had to be satisfied that there was evidence that his conduct to the victim had been abusive and not simply a consensual sexual relationship.

The survivor’s evidence was key to the prosecution. Throughout the case, she gave a consistent, clear account of how Slade had behaved towards her. Slade initially denied any sexual activity. Then, when confronted by the evidence he had collected himself, tried to call into question the survivor’s integrity, implying she had exaggerated what had happen to make it fit the legislation.

The focus of the prosecution was on the defendant and his conduct. The evidence he had himself kept demonstrated a pattern of abusive sexual behaviour and showed that he had groomed the survivor and had kept photos and letters as ‘trophies’. This evidence created a clear narrative of an individual who liked to take risks and coerce people vulnerable to him into extreme sexual activities.

Notes to editors

  • Simon Slade was convicted of one count of Indecent Assault and two counts of Buggery.
  • Alison O'Shea is a senior crown prosecutor from the Crown Prosecution Service East Midlands rape and serious sexual offences team.

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