Man guilty of sex assaults on girl, nine

Latest crime and court news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter
Latest crime and court news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

A man has been convicted of sexually abusing a nine-year-old girl near Sudbury.

Peter Leggett, 44, had denied doing anything wrong but, on Thursday, a jury at Ipswich Crown Court found him guilty of seven offences of sexual assault on a child aged under 13.

During the four-day trial, the girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said in a recorded interview played to the jury that Leggett had told her: “I love you.”

On at least three occasions, Leggett pulled up her T-shirt and licked her nipples. He had also indecently touched her after putting his hand down her trousers as she sat on his lap.

Giving evidence, the girl said she had felt unable to do anything to stop Leggett.

Leggett was arrested after the girl confided in her mother that he had touched her on the chest and between her legs, said Matthew McNiff prosecuting.

The offences were committed while Leggett was visiting a house in the Sudbury area between January 31 and April 28 last year.

Giving evidence, Leggett, of Winifred Way, Caister-on-Sea, claimed the girl said she fancied him and had said he was “hot” before rubbing her body against him and kissing him on the lips.

He denied all the allegations against him and said he had told the girl to stop what she was doing “because it could get him in a lot of trouble.”

Leggett, a cleaner, said that he lived with his parents because he needed help with reading and writing.

After the jury returned its verdicts, Judge John Devaux told Leggett that he would be remanded in custody until he returns to court to be sentenced on January 12.