UK News Briefs: two unrelated criminal cases both end in jail time

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Andover man jailed after using Pagan beliefs to justify criminal acts against children

ANDOVER, Hampshire, Eng. —  It is jail for paedophile who used ‘pagan’ beliefs to justify his crimes. Steven Lawrence Coatsworth, 52, of High Street, Andover, was sentenced in June to four and a half years in jail for paedophiliac offences, including attempting to arrange a sexual offence and making indecent images .

Coatsworth was arrested by an officer who posed as the grandfather of an imaginary online 11 year old girl. Arrangements were made for him to travel from Andover to the north of England in order to meet both the girl and a 12 year old boy. However, his car broke down halfway, and it was at this point that he was arrested.

Since his January 8 arrest,  Coatsworth has continued to protest that his ‘pagan’ beliefs justified his sexual interest in children.

He has also  maintained that the ‘important issue’ for him was not age but consent. The legal age of sexual consent in the UK is 16. However, Coatsworth has also suggested in online messages that the children should be induced to drink alcohol if they were not compliant.

Police stated, “[Coatsworth] does not suggest that his beliefs required him to perform sexual activity with children.” However,  they said, “The probation reports suggest that he misrepresents Paganism to justify his desire for sexual conduct with children.”

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Pagan man sentenced to jail time after being convicted of crimes against an elderly woman

SWINDON, Wiltshire, Eng. — In an unrelated case, Andrew Newman, aged 47, who recently described himself on Facebook as ‘a Pagan Christian’ and who has been active in the Wiltshire Pagan scene, was sentenced to 10 years and 6 months in jail Monday June 14 for sexual offences against an elderly dementia patient in his care.

At his 2016 trial at Swindon Crown Court, Newman was charged with two counts of sexual activity with the woman and two of causing or inciting sexual activity with her. He was also charged with possessing an extreme image portraying bestiality and one of possessing five indecent pictures of children.

A statement has been posted on his Facebook wall on behalf of the victim’s family. It describes Newman as ‘evil personified’ and states how devastating this has been for the woman’s relatives.

The statement also remarks that the victim is now in a safe place.

There has been no suggestion that Newman sought to use his beliefs as a justification for his crimes.

Since news of the incident was made public, the UK Pagan community has expressed shock and outrage the crimes and has offered its support to the victim and her family.

Old Swindoon Town Hall [Photo Credit:My another account via Wikimedia]