South Yorkshire man ‘not guilty’ of raping girl aged nine

Jason Garside at Sheffield Crown Court
Jason Garside at Sheffield Crown Court

A South Yorkshire man has been found not guilty of raping a nine-year-old girl in a village near Maltby but guilty of sexually assaulting her and a her friend.

Jason Garside, aged 43, of Thicket Drive, Maltby, near Rotherham, was accused of rape and indecent assault against two girls aged nine between 1989 and 1994.

The jury at Sheffield Crown Court found Garside not guilty of raping one of the two girls, but guilty of two counts of indecent assault against both girls.

The 43-year-old had already pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent assault and one count of gross indecency with a child on the opening day of the trial on July 8.

Garside was 19 when the indecent assault offences took place.

The court previously heard how Garside kept asking the sex assault victim to a nearby den in the woods and eventually she agreed.

The victim said that, after her brother and his friend left the den, Garside offered cigarettes to her and a friend who was the same age.

The court heard Garside exposed himself to the girls and sexually assaulted them while he touched himself.

The jury heard how Garside only stopped when the father of one of the girls came looking for her.

One victim told police: “I knew it was wrong because he pulled away and said ‘don’t say anything, you’ll get into trouble’.”

Judge Julian Goose told Garside at the end of the trial: “I would like to know more about you before I decide on the sentence.

“You will know that these are serious offences.

“Custody in my judgment is almost inevitable.”

Garside was granted conditional bail and will be sentenced on August 13.