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Canterbury sex attacker Emily Sweetland taunts families of victims in court

By Sean Axtell

A young woman who targeted schoolgirls in a series of sex attacks has taunted her victims' families in court.

Remorseless Emily Sweetland, 21, subjected eight girls and three women to sexual assaults in public places, including at Canterbury West railway station and the city centre's Starbucks shop.

But as she appeared in the dock for sentencing at Canterbury Crown Court, she smirked as she heard one of her victims now wets the bed and others are receiving therapy.

Emily Sweetland photographed at Canterbury West railway station (9870224)
Emily Sweetland photographed at Canterbury West railway station (9870224)

The former Greggs worker - who prefers to be called Elliot - even screamed at the mother of one victim: "You wait until I'm out! Just wait until I'm out!"

Judge Mark Weekes threatened Sweetland with contempt of court before ordering her down to the cells during the hearing on Friday.

He then apologised for having to delay sentencing because police had failed to obtain impact statements from victims.

Addressing them and their families, he said: "I think the police officer in the case owes you an apology.

"I would like to offer you a huge apology from the court for wasting your time and your emotions."

Sweetland, of Warten Road in Ramsgate, has admitted carrying out 11 sex attacks in the space of four days across Canterbury and Thanet.

Canterbury Crown Court (12240862)
Canterbury Crown Court (12240862)

She approached one of her victims - a 13-year-old girl - in Starbucks in Rose Lane and put her hand up her skirt.

The terrified victim said: "She came and sat down near our table and pulled up a chair.

“We thought she was a man, and we felt uncomfortable so got up to leave. As I stood up she put her hand up my skirt. I just screamed and we ran off.”

The first of the attacks happened in Minster, Thanet, on April 3, when two teenage girls were touched sexually without their consent.

Two days later, in Canterbury, five girls aged between 12 and 15, and a woman, were attacked by Sweetland.

Sweetland was arrested on the evening of Saturday, April 6, following sexual assaults in Ramsgate on three more victims – two women and a 13-year-old girl.

Sentencing is due to take place on Thursday.

To read more of our in depth coverage of all of the major trials coming out of crown and magistrates' courts across the county, click here.

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