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Monday, 22 September 2014

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Six years jail for perverted Carlisle fairground worker

A PERVERTED fairground worker who kidnapped a young man late at night and then twice forced him to perform sex acts has been jailed for six years.

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Christopher Higgins: Poses ‘high risk’ of offending

Christopher Higgins, 24, terrified his slightly built young victim by telling him he was armed with a knife.

At Carlisle Crown Court yesterday, Recorder Peter Davies told the defendant: “You are a controlling, manipulative, and predatory individual.”

Earlier, the court had heard how Higgins, of Oaklands Drive, Currock, had been on his bike as he followed his victim through Stanwix.

He shadowed the man as he walked through Stanwix at 11pm on a day in July of last year, the court heard.

He then grabbed the young man by the neck and forced him into bushes where he told him he had the knife and ordered him to perform a sex act. At first the victim refused, but he was so petrified that the did as ordered.

When a dog walker passed the scene the young victim was too terrified to shout for help, the court heard. His initial ordeal lasted five minutes – but Higgins then took his victim to a nearby park and repeated the abuse. When police eventually traced him to a fun fair in the North East, Higgins denied having had anything to do with the attack – only to change his story when confronted by DNA evidence.

He claimed his victim had been a willing partner in the sexual encounter. Higgins continued to deny any wrongdoing, but after a trial was convicted by majority verdicts of four offences: kidnap, kidnap with intent to commit a sexual offence; and two counts of causing a person to engage in a sexual act without consent.

Prosecutor Andrew Ford told the court yesterday that the attack had left the victim nervous, and afraid of going out after dark.

In his statement, the young man said he had changed since the incident, becoming more short-tempered and suffering from flashbacks.

But his statement added: “I felt it was very important to come to court.”

Mr Ford said the jury’s verdicts showed that they had concluded Higgins had committed a predatory offence against a stranger.

He added that Probation Service staff had concluded the defendant posed a “high risk” of future sexual offending.

Greg Hoare, for Higgins, said: “At the end of the day, it was a single course of conduct, no doubt terrifying; and it was over a relatively short period of time and a short distance.”

The judge also imposed an extended licence period, which will run for six years after the defendant’s release; and a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, which forbids Higgins from working with young children and prevents him from approaching lone strangers in public, except in social situations when he is with another adult, or when he is buying goods or services or in an emergency.

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