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Sex abuser 'to face jail term'

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: September 14, 2012

GUILTY: Jason Squirrell.

A SEX abuser who described his under-age victim as his "number one girl" has been told to expect a substantial prison sentence.

Jason Squirrell, whose last recorded address was Minorca Lane in Bugle, had denied the seven charges against him at Truro Crown Court on Friday last week but was found guilty on all counts.

The 41-year-old was accused by his victim of sexual activity with her while she was under the age of consent, which started in 2008 and went on for up to three years.

Squirrell, who has also lived in Penwithick and Mevagissey in recent years, told the court he never touched the girl sexually and that they were just "like best friends".

He went to the police station in February 2011, where he was said to "confess" his inappropriate relationship.

But when interviewed by police he later said he never had any sexual activity with the teenager, just that they were "too close".

He said he went to the police because his victim had told him she had reported "it" but he didn't know what she was referring to.

"I asked her what she was going to report and she refused to tell me," Squirrell told the court.

Jurors saw transcripts of text messages he sent to his victim on February 19, 2011, one of which said: "You know how much I love you and you say you love me. I want to spend the rest of my life with you." Another read: "I have nearly killed myself twice because of you."

The jury was also shown two cards Squirrell allegedly gave to the teenage girl.

One was entitled "my number one girl" with pictures of him and her on the front, in which he wrote: "If we continue to stick together nothing will get in the way of our love."

The other, which said on the front "all my love on our special day," read: "I'm looking forward to another year with you if you will have me."

The court heard how his eBay account had been used to purchase a nurse outfit and 'baby doll'-style lingerie.

Squirrell, who has seven children with different women, said the text messages and cards were being wrongly interpreted and were just friendly.

"We had our own sort of language," he said, claiming his victim had manipulated the texts to her advantage by deleting some.

In his defence, Squirrell claimed that when the girl alleged he had touched her sexually for the first time he had only been tickling her to cheer her up.

The jury took about two hours to return the guilty verdict.

Recorder Paul Dunkels, QC, told Squirrell: "The inevitable sentence you will receive is an immediate custodial sentence of significant length."

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