A 27-year-old British dental receptionist had a one-year sentence suspended after a judge found her guilty of groping a 13-year-old boy and exposing herself to him on a park bench.
“On the one hand, this is a sexual assault on a young person by someone who is 27 years of age, and it is plainly a serious matter,” Judge Eric Lamb said at sentencing.
“On the other side there is strong personal mitigation as a result of genuine remorse, and the series of events that have led you to your mental health difficulties,” he noted, adding that he found and accepted that the defendant showed “genuine and heartfelt remorse.”
Lamb handed Jade Berry a 12-month jail sentence that he suspended for 18 months, during which time Berry had to wear an electronic “sobriety” tag and complete a 35-day rehabilitation activity requirement. She also has to remain on the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years, BNN Network reported.
Berry wandered home through Rivacre Valley Country Park in Chesire on Oct. 3, 2022 after drinking heavily with friends the night before. She found two teenage boys sitting on a park bench and discussing one boy’s upcoming 14th birthday party.
Berry sat between the boys and started heavily petting the boy’s genitals and upper thigh over his clothing and offered him sex, telling him, “I’m going to ride you ‘til morning.”
The boys left her on the bench after she exposed her genitals and buttocks to the boys and passed out. By the time the police arrived, Berry had departed the scene but had left behind her debit card and phone.
Berry’s only comment when police arrested her two days later was, “Oh my god, I do not recall anything, like.” Throughout her interview with police, she continued to respond “no comment,” but the boy identified her in a perp walk, Metro reported.
The victim has suffered severe nightmares and tried to take his life own life in the past year since the incident.
Berry’s legal defense claimed that she suffered from a “self-destructive nature” and “turned to alcohol to deal with her issues,” but that she now “realizes that is not the answer to her problems.”
“It seems that her alcohol intoxication may have led her into doing and committing this offense,” defense council John Wyn Williams told the court. “There is genuine heartfelt remorse, and she shows victim empathy.”
The leniency of Berry’s sentence raised questions about the handling of the case, with some public outcry demanding a re-evaluation of current laws and their implementation to bring stricter punishment.