Sudbury man guilty of three counts of sexual assault on a schoolgirl

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Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press,, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

A man from Sudbury has been convicted of sexually assaulting a schoolgirl.

Jake Ellis, 27, of Newmans Road, had denied doing anything wrong but was on Friday found guilty of three offences by a jury at Ipswich Crown Court.

The jury of six men and six women found him not guilty of a fourth alleged offence. Ellis had pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

After the jury returned their verdicts Ms Recorder Maureen Baker told Ellis that he would continue to be granted bail until he returns to court on September 15 to be sentenced.

Ellis was found guilty of two offences of sexual activity with a child and one ofsexual assault. He was found not guilty of another alleged offence of sexual assault.

During his trial last week the court heard that the charges related to when Ellis was aged between 24 and 26 and the girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was aged between 13 and 14.

The jury were told that Ellis was arrested after messages sent by him to the girl he is alleged to have touched and kissed were seen by her parents on her iPad.

Prosecuting, Andrew Thompson said the girl had been subjected to acts that were “age inappropriate and a breach of trust.”

It was claimed that Ellis had put his hand inside the girl’s top and bra, lain in a bed with her while he was dressed only in his underwear and kissed her on the lips on a number of occasions.

The girl’s parents contacted the NSPCC for advice and then the police, resulting in Ellis’s arrest.

In recorded police interviews played to the jury the girl said she had tried to ignore what Ellis was doing which she had considered “weird.”

Giving evidence, Ellis admitted that he had exchanged messages with the girl but strongly denied that anything inappropriate had taken place between them.

Ellis, a tree surgeon, told the jury that he never kissed the girl or placed his hand inside her top to touch her, as was alleged by the prosecution.

Defence witness Claire Knappa said Ellis had told her that the girl was following him around and been overheard saying she found it difficult to tell the difference between reality and fantasy.