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Source : 24/05/1997 Northampton Chronicle and Echo

A Jesus Army member has been jailed for three months for molesting a young girl.

The man, aged 29, sexually assaulted a girl of 12 at the Bugbroke-based groups' North London headquarters five years ago.

Isleworth Crown Court heard yesterday how the father-of-one had molested the girl while she was a member of the cult.

He was convicted of two counts of sexual assault after repeatedly touching the girl on the breasts and attempting to kiss her, leaving her deeply traumatised.

The married man, who maintained his innocence throughout the trial, showed no emotion as the sentence was passed.

Judge Simon Evans told him: 'You have read the GP's report and although you have not acknowledged your guilt you have accepted the effect your conduct has had upon this woman.''

'I have to say, that if this case had come to light some years ago, closer to the time of the offence, I would have dealt with it more severely, 'However, these were the actions of a 24-year-old man, it is a long time ago, you are now married and I understand in a marriage that is surviving, which makes you less of a risk.'

'I accept that you were not in a senior position of trust but you were an adult at 24 in a household where the girl was 12 and 13 at the time that we are concerned with, so you did have a duty to behave towards her.'

'I will also take into account that you came into this very strict regime, that I believe was one which you find difficult to live with and maybe the touching of the girl stems from that.'

'You were living in a society where your frustrations may well have built up after coming from a freer society and going into that one.'

Investigating officer PC Ted Slater said after the hearing how the victim had become depressed and suicidal after the attack.

He said: 'She was very young at the time and she has since suffered from depression and was profoundly affected by this to the point of wanting to take her own life.'

'Her family have now left the organisation some 18 months ago.'

But he added the man had been accepted back into the cult and was still living in one of up to five properties owned by the religious sect in the Acton area of North London.