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DJ Bethell guilty of sex assault on young girl

Barry Bethell
Barry Bethell

DJ and TV ad man Barry Bethell has been convicted of sexually assaulting a young girl and taking indecent photos of children.

But he was cleared of a second charge of sexual assault.

The jury at Canterbury Crown Court returned the last of their verdicts – the acquittal – this morning having convicted Bethell, 66, of one assault and three charges of taking indecent photos the previous day.

Publication of the results was banned by the judge until the jury had returned all their verdicts.

Bethell, of Kimberley Grove, Seasalter, had pleaded not guilty to the assaults, denying the young girls' claims that he put his hands inside or down their clothing and touched them indecently while they were at his home.

He claimed the indecent photos were in fact not indecent but were taken for publicity purposes.

Almost at the end of the trial, the judge ruled for legal reasons the indecent photo charge should be split into three seperate charges gving the jury a total of five offences to consider.

It was Bethell's second trial, the first having collapsed in November when the trial judge instructed a jury to return not guilty verdicts on eight counts of making indecent photographs on two computers between 2001 and 2008.

The jury were then discharged from returning verdicts on the three charges that have been heard this week.

Bethell has admitted eight charges of taking and possessing indecent photos of children. He has been in custody since his arrest in February, 2008, and remains in prison while a probation report is prepared. He will be sentenced on June 5.

Adjourning sentence, Judge Adele Williams said she needed a pre-sentence report to deal with the issue of level of risk Bethell posed in the future to children.

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