Wigan grandad abused child at a birthday party

Wigan grandad found guilty
Wigan grandad found guilty

A Wigan grandad has been found guilty of sexually abusing a young girl under a table at a birthday party.

Joseph Garrett, of Smithwood Avenue in Hindley, has been convicted for touching two girls in five separate charges spanning 24 years.

The 56-year-old appeared in front of a jury of six women and six men this week during the trial at Bolton Crown Court.

He denied all of the charges against him saying that they “never happened”.

Judge Timothy Stead summed up the crucial parts of the evidence heard over the past few days, warning the jury to leave their emotions out of the final decision.

He told the jury how the victims, who will be referred to as X and Y, had reported their allegations in early 2017 after comments about the historical abuse were aired at a New Year’s Eve party in front of several of Garrett’s family members.

Following this, an attendee at the party asked X if anyone had ever done anything to her - which is when she finally revealed the truth.

The initial police complaint, the court heard, was made by the nine-year-old girl, who said that two years previously she had been at a 30th birthday party when Garrett asked her to sit on his knee, before assaulting her underneath the table while his then partner sat with her back turned.

X told police: “I had spilt pop down my tights and had to take them off.

“I remember people were dancing on the stage and Joe saw I was really tired so he asked me to sit on his knee.

“He stopped when I said I needed a drink. I didn’t go back and sit on his knee.”

The court heard how the charges, which date back to the 90s, also relate to the indecent assault on a girl under the age of 14 and three counts of indecent assault of the same girl when she was 16.

Judge Stead told the jury that the evidence given from Y, outlined an incident which happened when she was around 10 years old, when the defendant made her touch him while the two were alone.

“He said and don’t tell anybody and it won’t happen again,” she told police.

In her spoken evidence, Y told the hearing that the abuse began again around six years later when the two were alone.

“It would happen around three times a week,” she said.

Over the years, Y attempted to tell people about the abuse that she had suffered, with various family members finding out at different times.

On one occasion, following an argument with the defendant in 2006, he said “I molested you” or “I will ******* molest you”.

Garrett will be sentenced on October 4 when he returns to Bolton Crown Court and he was remanded in custody until that date.