Ten years in jail for New Southgate man who sexually assaulted two children

Derek Withers, 68, was convicted of attacking two girls aged under 13 years

Derek Withers (credit Essex Police)
Derek Withers (credit Essex Police)

A man from New Southgate has been jailed for ten years after he was convicted of sexually assaulting two girls aged under 13 years.

Derek Withers, 68, of Bowes Road, was arrested in December 2020 after two victims contacted Essex Police to report offences which took place between 2002 and 2020 in Harwich, Essex.

Following an investigation by the force’s child abuse investigation team, Withers was charged with indecent assault of a girl under 13, engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child under 13 and assault of a girl under 13.

He pleaded not guilty but, following a week-long trial at Chelmsford Crown Court, was found guilty of all offences and sentenced to ten years in prison.

In a victim impact statement, the mother and father of one of the victims said: “The outcome of this abuse against our daughter and the rest of our family is devastating.

“It is undecided whether our little girl can move forward and push this to the back of her mind and return to the happy little girl she used to be. We hope that one day with the support agencies we are taking our little girl to, we can move on and learn how to build trust in others again.”

This story is published by Enfield Dispatch, Enfield's free monthly newspaper and free news website. We are a not-for-profit publication, published by a small social enterprise. We have no rich backers and rely on the support of our readers. Donate or become a supporter.

One of the victims thanked Essex Police for the support she received. She said: “I was petrified coming forward to the police, the first report I made was back in 2011 but my life was different then and I did not have the strength to go forward with it.

“The whole process has been challenging, but worth it, I’d advise any survivors out there that has suffered and are still suffering from sexual abuse to come forward as it’s not as scary as it seems, I’ve been kept informed of the process throughout, I feel like I have been listened to, supported, and believed.

“I feel like this is the closure I need. Even though the thoughts will never go away and will live with me for the rest of my life, I can finally move on and be the strong woman I am today.”

Investigating officer PC Shad Gulabkhan added: “This sentence is a direct result of the strength and bravery that these two victims have shown.

“The victims and their families have conducted themselves with such dignity and they should be so proud of themselves.

“I hope that this sentencing means they can move forward and continue being as strong as they have throughout this whole process.”

We know times are hard

If you are struggling to make ends meet, we are keeping Enfield Dispatch free because of you. We know that many people cannot afford to pay for local news, so this website and our print paper will always be free. If you can afford to, and value what we do, a small monthly, yearly or one-off contribution can support us to keep providing quality journalism for Enfield to our community for free.

Monthly direct debit 

Annual direct debit

£5 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else, £10 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else and a print copy posted to them each month. £50 annual supporters get a digital copy of each month's paper before anyone else.  

Donate now with Pay Pal

More information on supporting us monthly or yearly 

More Information about donations