Merstham ‘monster’ jailed for 11 years for repeated sexual attacks on young girl
In a heartbreaking statement, his victim told the court “nowhere ever felt safe”
A Merstham paedophile with 39 previous convictions has been locked up for 11 years after a judge said he posed a significant danger to young children.
Terry Briance, of Nutfield Road, was handed the lengthy term after being found guilty of repeatedly attacking a young girl in Merstham more than 10 years ago.
Briance, 43, who has been known to lurk around playgrounds watching children, denied seven charges of sexually assaulting the girl.
However, following a week-long trial in July, a jury found him guilty of all charges.
He was back at Guildford Crown Court on Friday September 28th to be sentenced for his crimes.
In a harrowing impact statement, his victim described how she had tried to slit her wrists when she heard he had pleaded not guilty to tormenting her.
Prosecutor Piers Reed read it out to the court.
“Because of what was done to me I have spent many of my years wishing I was dead,” the court heard. “The depression that went with that has been crushing.”
She described how her ordeal had left her with a deep anger, and terrified by any type of physical intimacy.
“Nowhere ever felt safe,” the impact statement continued. “Instead of feeling excited by the world around me, I was terrified of it.
“The shame of what happened to me haunts me to this day.
“I still carry around this burden with me and the knowledge that he has no remorse for what he has done to me. He was the monster of my childhood.”
The court was told the girl tried desperately to build a barricade to keep Briance from assaulting her.
The paedophile’s offending goes back almost 30 years, the court heard.
His family moved to America when he was young, where he committed his first offence as a teenager.
He had sex with a five-year-old girl, Mr Reed told the court, although was convicted only of sexual assault. After a prison and probation term, he was deported back to the UK in 2003, only to go on and attack his next victim.
In the years since, he has been convicted of possessing tens of thousands of indecent images of children and has been before the courts for 39 separate offences, including in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
In 2015, he was convicted of breaching a sexual harm prevention order by ogling children playing in a water play park in Hove.
It was only after seeing a newspaper report of one of his convictions, that the girl he assaulted years before worked up the courage to come forward and tell police what he had done to her.
Mitigating,Trina Little said he had not offended since 2016, and read out a statement from Briance’s girlfriend, who said he had helped her with her problems.
Sentencing him, Judge Peter Moss said Briance had an “entrenched” sexual interest in young girls.
“You have no remorse, no acceptance of what you have done,” he told him.
“All this bodes ill for the future for you and for the community and those that are at serious risk of serious sexual harm from you.
“I therefore conclude that you are at danger of committing further offence of this nature and pose a significant risk of harm to members of the public and I intend to impose an extended term of imprisonment.”
Briance, balding with glasses and a long beard, stood quietly as the sentence was read out.
He will serve at least two-thirds of the 11-year term, and will only be released then if the parole board is satisfied he no longer poses a risk.
He will remain on the sex offenders register and subject to the sexual harm prevention order, which bars him from going within 50 metres of any park or school.
Investigating officer PC Fran Swankie was delighted with the length of the sentence handed to Briance. Speaking after the hearing, she said: “He is clearly a danger to the public and I am overjoyed with the result today.
“It will hopefully give some closure to his victim.”