Former traffic warden to be sentenced today over sex assaults

PUBLISHED: 08:02 09 September 2019

Shane Vertigan, who used to be a traffic warden. Picture: Archant

Shane Vertigan, who used to be a traffic warden. Picture: Archant

A former traffic warden has been warned to expect a custodial sentence after he was found guilty of sexually abusing a girl more than a decade ago.

Shane Vertigan, 49, went on trial having denied eight counts of abusing the girl, who did not come forward until August 2016 to make a complaint to Norfolk police.

But a jury of eight women and four men took just over three hours to find Vertigan guilty of six counts of sexual assault of the victim between the ages of 13 and 15.

Vertigan, of Whitelands, Fakenham, was found not guilty of one count of sexual assault while the jury was directed to find him not guilty of another.

The verdicts which were reached on Friday leave Vertigan facing a custodial sentence when he is sentenced today at Ipswich Crown Court.

Judge David Goodin told Vertigan the offences he has been convicted of were "serious and the guideline is custody".

He said it was not a sentence that could be suspended with the only question being how long the defendant will spend in prison.

Vertigan was granted conditional bail but warned that if he did not attend his sentencing a warrant would be issued for his arrest.

During the trial the jury heard evidence from the victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons. She said she had frozen and panicked when he abused her and claimed he told her that she should not tell anyone.

She said: "I just froze. Everything went blank."

"He said I was not to tell anyone. He said it was a bit of fun."

She said he also bought her credits for her phone so he could send her text messages.

She said that she was worried she might get into trouble if she told anyone about the abuse at the time but said as she got older she realised what had happened was wrong and went to the police.

The trial heard Vertigan, who had previously worked as a traffic warden, had a previous conviction in May 2013 for a sex assault on a 22-year-old woman in February 2012.

Mr Wilson also told the jury that when interviewed about the allegations he is now on trial for, Vertigan had made no comment but gave a prepared statement denying anything inappropriate had happened.

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