Paul Betts: man who groomed and sexually assaulted girl, 11, while working as a chef in Manchester jailed

Paul Betts has been jailed for five years after he sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl while working as a chef at a Manchester restaurant.
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A man who groomed and then sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl while working as a chef at a restaurant in Manchester more than a quarter of a century ago has been put behind bars.

Paul Betts was jailed for five years at Manchester Crown Court after being found guilty of a number of sexual activities involving children.

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The youngster who was groomed and sexually assaulted by Betts, who is now 60, in the 1990s reported her ordeal to Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and another force, and since then other victims have also come forward.

GMP described Betts as a “predator” and praised the bravery of his victims who faced a five-year process to getting justice. Police have also shared information about how victims of sexual crimes can get in touch with Greater Manchester organisations who can support them.

What did Paul Betts do?

Betts, of Hawkley Drive in Hampshire, was sentenced to five years in prison when he appeared at Manchester Crown Court on Friday 28 April. The judge also told him he would have to sign the sex offenders’ register for life.

He had previously been found guilty at a trial of the indecent assault of an 11-year-old child between October 1996 and December 1996 and between December 1996 and February 1997, indecency with a child under the age of 14, between January 1997 and May 1997, four counts of indecent assault of an 11-year-old child between February 1997 and May 1997 and two counts of indecent assault of a 13-year-old child in July 1997.

Manchester Crown Court. Photo: AFP via Getty ImagesManchester Crown Court. Photo: AFP via Getty Images
Manchester Crown Court. Photo: AFP via Getty Images
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The court heard Betts was working as a chef at a restaurant in Gorton in Manchester when he groomed and then sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl on a number of occasions.

Betts made the youngster believe they were in a relationship and gave her a lot of attention as well as buying her gifts, the court was told.

The interactions between Betts and the girl were noticed by various people and he then disappeared and the victim did not see him again. However, she reported what had happened to her to GMP and subsequently to Devon and Cornwall Police, the area where Betts was living. Other victims then came forward, police said.

What have police said about Betts’ conviction?

Detective Constable Lindsay McHugh of GMP said: “This has been an extremely long road to justice for these victims that has taken five years. They have showed immense strength and courage in supporting this prosecution until the very end and without their evidence and that of the witnesses, this predator could not have been brought to justice.

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“These offences were carried out 27 years ago on children as young as 11 years old. These children are now adults and, whilst this sentence cannot erase what happened to them, we hope that knowing this man is in custody for these abhorrent crimes will go some way to allowing them to begin to heal.

“If you or some you know has been sexually assaulted, we encourage you not to suffer in silence and report it to the police, or a support agency so you can get the help and support available.”

Victims of sexual offences can contact GMP on 101 or through the Live Chat function on the GMP website. Information can also be passed via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 111 555.

What support is available for victims of sexual offences in Greater Manchester?

Following Betts’ conviction police shared the details of a number of organisations in Greater Manchester who are there to help people who have been victims of sexual crimes.

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Saint Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Manchester provides a comprehensive and co-ordinated response to men, women and children who live or have been sexually assaulted within Greater Manchester. They offer forensic medical examinations, practical and emotional support as well as a counselling service for all ages. Services are available on a 24-hour basis and can be accessed by calling 0161 276 6515.

Greater Manchester Rape Crisis is a confidential information, support and counselling service run by women for women over 18 who have been raped or sexually abused at any time in their lives. Call on 0161 273 4500 or email [email protected]

Survivors Manchester provides specialist trauma informed support to male victims in Greater Manchester who have experienced sexual abuse, rape or sexual exploitation. Call 0161 236 2182.