Cousins jailed for sex as­saults on chil­dren

South Wales Echo - - NEWS -

TWO cousins have been jailed af­ter they raped and in­de­cently as­saulted two chil­dren when the de­fen­dants them­selves were un­der the age of 16.

David Jones, 32, and Daniel Wood­bridge, 31, from Maesteg, Brid­gend, were con­victed by a jury of nu­mer­ous counts of rape and in­de­cent as­sault of two girls, who can­not be named for le­gal rea­sons, fol­low­ing a trial at Cardiff Crown Court.

The of­fences oc­curred when Jones was aged 15 and un­der Wood­bridge was aged 13 and un­der.

The court heard the de­fen­dants were “close” to each other and car­ried out the sex­ual of­fences against the two com­plainants both in the com­pany of each other and alone.

Wood­bridge was found guilty of seven counts of rape and one count of in­de­cent as­sault while Jones was found guilty of five counts of rape, one count of at­tempted rape, and two counts of in­de­cent as­sault.

A vic­tim im­pact state­ment was read out on be­half of one of the vic­tims by Judge Thomas Merfyn Hughes QC, who ap­peared via video link from Caernar­fon Crown Court. He said: “In her teenage years she strug­gled to live with her mem­o­ries and she self-harmed. She has lost trust in form­ing re­la­tion­ships and finds it hard to en­gage in phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity.

“She has be­come pro­tec­tive of her own chil­dren but she hopes to re­build her life.”

A state­ment read out on be­half of the other vic­tim said she had dif­fi­culty dur­ing her teenage years and strug­gled with her men­tal health. She said she could not com­mit to a re­la­tion­ship, was left feel­ing “in­se­cure”, and she could not achieve clo­sure un­til the de­fen­dants ad­mit­ted their of­fend­ing.

Su­san Fer­rier, rep­re­sent­ing Wood­bridge, said her client con­tin­ued to main­tain a “staunch de­nial” of his of­fend­ing but ac­cepted the jury had found him guilty of the charges.

She said the court should take ac­count of his age at the time of the of­fences as he was still at­tend­ing pri­mary school when the abuse be­gan.

An­drew Davies, rep­re­sent­ing Jones, also asked the court to take into ac­count his client’s age at the time of the of­fend­ing. He said Jones had learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties and de­scribed him as “not a man of high in­tel­lec­tual func­tion”.

Sen­tenc­ing, Judge Hughes said: “You to­tally dom­i­nated each of the vic­tims.”

He added: “Both of you con­tin­ued to sex­u­ally abuse the vic­tims and did for many years get away with it.

“This is a case of sus­tained and con­stant sex­ual abuse of two young girls when they were pow­er­less to pre­vent it.”

Both Jones, of Duf­fryn Street, and Wood­bridge, of Bryn­l­ly­warch, were sen­tenced to five years’ im­pris­on­ment.

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