July 2009

Paedophile locked up for 15-year sexual abuse campaign

A PAEDOPHILE who abused four girls over a 15-year period has been jailed for eight years.

Mansfield Woodhouse man Johnathan Wetherell’s victims were aged four, five, six and 12.

The 53-year-old, of Peafield Lane, Mansfield Woodhouse, was only brought to justice after one of his victims started self-harming.

Allison Cunningham, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court that the girl explained to her boyfriend she did it because of the abuse she suffered at the hands of Wetherell. That sparked a chain of events that led to four different girls making complaints to police.

Mrs Cunningham said the eldest victim was abused by Wetherell at a time when he was living in Faversham, Kent.

The other victims were attacked after Wetherell moved to the King’s Lynn area.

Mrs Cunningham said the lives of the four victims had been devastated by the abuse they suffered.

Wetherell admitted 11 charges of indecent assault and 12 charges of sexual assault on a child. The charges spanned the period between 1993 and 2008.

Judge Michael Heath told him “You are a danger. You represent a very high risk of serious harm to children. This offending took place over 15 years. It was done to satisfy your own perverted sexual desires.

“You told the probation officer that you were physically overwhelmed by the urge to touch and you were unable to control your behaviour.

“It is quite clear you have caused considerable and serious harm to your victims on a psychological and emotional level.

“It is harrowing to read what you were doing to them and how it has affected each of them. It has caused them incalculable harm.”

Wetherell was banned from having unsupervised contact with young children.

Ruth Paley, defending, said Wetherell pleaded guilty to the offences at the first opportunity and has since shown remorse.