A Northwich shopkeeper who sexually abused three young girls has been jailed for four years.
Nadesapillai Thisaweerasingham, 45, was previously convicted of three counts of sexual assault against a 13-year-old and two 10-year-olds, one count of sexual activity with a child and two counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
This followed a 14-day trial at Chester Crown Court .
Today, Wednesday, February 14, Thisaweerasingham, also known as ‘Raj’, of Burnside Way, Northwich, was sentenced at Chester to four years in prison and ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for life.
Thisaweerasingham was also given an indefinite sexual harm prevention order (SHPO).
The allegations against him came to light in July 2017 when concerns were raised with officers at Northwich Local Policing Unit.
An investigation was launched and officers discovered allegations that he had sexually abused six young girls in the town between the ages of 10 and 13 between 1 January and 11 July 2017.
Some of the incidents happened in his shop, TNS Stores, on Victoria Road, Northwich.
Detective Constable Vicki Shelton said: “Thisaweerasingham’s behaviour has had a profound impact on all of the victims and will affect them for the rest of their lives.
“They were all young, innocent girls, who he deliberately befriended, giving them with money, sweets and presents, in order to fulfil his own sexual gratification.
“The victims have shown immense courage and determination throughout the investigation and trial. It has been an extremely difficult time for them and their families and I hope that the outcome gives them some closure.”
Chief Inspector Simon Meegan added: “Exploiting a child in this way is truly shocking and it can have long lasting and significant effects on all those involved.
“We all have a duty to protect those who are most vulnerable in the local community and I would encourage people to familiarise themselves with the possible signs and general behaviour seen in young people who are being sexually exploited in this way – and to come forward and report any suspicious activity or concerns - no matter how small.”
At the trial Thisaweerasingham was also found not guilty of nine further counts – six of sexual assault, one of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, one of sexual activity with a child and one of assault by penetration – against four girls.
For further information about the signs of child sexual exploitation visit the NSPCC website .
Anyone looking to report a sexual offence can contact Cheshire Police on 101. Information can also be passed anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.