A vile predator who sexually assaulted a Wigan schoolgirl has been put behind bars.
Craig Berry committed the two horrific sex crimes against the 14-year-old in November last year.
The 43-year-old, formerly from Hindley but now of Worsley, had continuously denied the shocking acts, but was found guilty by a jury at Bolton Crown Court last month.
The jurors had been unable to come to a conclusion on a third count of sexual assault and on another of assault by penetration, following the seven day trial that was originally st to last only four days.
Yesterday at the same courthouse, Berry was jailed for more than three years by Judge Richard Gioserano, who said he had shown “not even a jot of remorse” for his crimes.
Jurors had previously heard how Berry did not believe his victim would tell anyone that he had sexually assaulted her.
But the devastated teenager bravely confided in a friend at school the following day, before later telling one of her teachers.
Social services were notified immediately, as were the police who arrested Berry.
Appallingly, Berry continued to deny the charges when pressed by detectives, meaning his victim was forced to attend court to give evidence against him.
All of the charges against him related to the same teenager, but the jury was unable to decide on two of them and returned as a hung jury.
Berry was condemned by the judge for denying his sickening offences, who said: “You lacked the courage and decency to admit what you had done.
“You have shown not even a jot of remorse for what you have done.”
Berry had inflicted further psychological abuse on his young victim by denying his acts up to the point of being found guilty, said the judge, who said he feared the teenager would be “emotionally scarred for life.”
The judge added that Berry, who is a father himself, “deserved” to lose contact with his family following his conviction.
He was given three years in custody for the sexual offences, and a further six months for two counts of breaching a restraining order, relating to the same case.
He will serve half of his sentence behind bars, and the remainder will be served on license.
He must also sign the sex offenders’ register for life.
His young victim was in the courtroom, accompanied by her family, to see Berry caged.
She sat behind a screen, shielding her from the view of Berry, whom she had not seen since speaking out against him.
Berry, who was sitting in the dock nearby and wearing a blue jumper, did not speak during proceedings, nodding only to confirm his name.
He made no reaction when he learned his fate, staring straight ahead before being taken away by a security guard.