Chelmsford: Man jailed after six assaults sparked thorough investigation
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A team who launched a persistent investigation into reports of women and girls being assaulted and spat at in Chelmsford have seen the perpetrator convicted and jailed.
Officers with Chelmsford’s Town Centre Team acted quickly to respond to reports of women and girls being approached, threatened and assaulted by a man earlier this year.
On Tuesday 22 August, a woman was approached from behind and punched by a stranger while standing at a set of traffic lights in Chelmer Road.
On Monday 4 September, two girls – aged 14 and 15 – were walking along Chelmer Village Way when they were approached by the same man, who was riding a bicycle.
The man behaved in a threatening manner towards them, dropping his bike on the floor and running towards the two victims, causing them to flee.
Two days later, on Wednesday 6 September, a woman was walking along Peel Road with her child when she was approached by the same man.
He cycled quickly towards her, shouting threats as he did so.
The woman and child were forced to flee and hide behind a nearby van.
On the same day, a short time later, two teenagers, a boy and girl, were walking in Springfield Road when they noticed the same man cycling towards them.
The man spat at the girl, with the spit hitting her face, hair, arms and clothing.
He also used his shoulder to barge the boy, thankfully causing no injury.
Jake Carter, 27, of Meadgate Avenue, Chelmsford, was swiftly identified as the person responsible for each assault, arrested and questioned.
We provided support to the victims, ensuring they felt able to provide pivotal statements and evidence to secure charges against Carter.
He was charged with six counts of common assault, charges he denied.
A two-day trial was held before magistrates and, due to the weight of evidence compiled against him, Carter was convicted of each assault.
He was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on Thursday 2 November.
'Excellent officers kept me updated throughout'
Speaking after sentencing, the victim of the 22 August assault said:
“The day after the assault I had an officer round my house taking a statement. “A second statement was also taken to cover areas around identification of the person involved. “They were excellent and kept me updated throughout. “The witness care team continued to keep me updated and let me know the day after he was sentenced. “I can’t fault any part of the service I received.”
Worrying series of incidents
PC Chris Cleverley, officer in the case, said:
“This was a worrying string of incidents which left all of us at the Chelmsford Town Team increasingly concerned for the safety of women and the wider community. “Two of the victims were as young as 14 years old and there was no motive for each assault. “This needed a rapid response to quickly apprehend the person responsible and hold them to account. “I would thank all of the victims for their bravery in coming forward and providing the pivotal evidence we needed in order to get this case to court and ensure justice was served. “As this case shows, we take incidents of this nature very seriously and do everything in our power to keep the community in Chelmsford safe.”
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