Family seeks review of sex offender’s term

A FAMILY from Earlsheaton have asked the attorney general to review the sentence of a repeat sex offender.

Adam Hepworth, 27, was given a 12-month community order on May 1 after admitting an incident from five years ago. In the interim however, in October 2011, Hepworth was jailed for two years after admitting sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl.

Hepworth, then 24 and working as a high school caretaker, also gave the girl a sexually transmitted infection and was put on the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years.

A year before that in April 2010, Hepworth’s first victim Jade Stadnicki, then 17, celebrated her birthday by going out with friends in Dewsbury.

Among them was Hepworth, and the group ended up back at a property in the Eightlands area in the early hours.

Jade’s friend Aimee Coote woke to see Hepworth on top of the still-sleeping teenager.

She told Jade what she saw the next day, but by then Jade’s mum Joanne had washed her daughter’s clothes.

Forensics experts decided it was not worth carrying out DNA tests – but scientific advances meant they were able to do so in December 2014.

Having kept the clothes all that time, Hepworth’s DNA was found on Jade’s underwear and tights.

He pleaded guilty at Leeds Crown Court to sexual assault.

Hepworth, of Wroe Street, Dewsbury Moor, received the community order and was put on the sex offenders’ register for five years.

He must pay a £60 victim surcharge and is subject to the Disclosure and Barring service with regard to employment.

But Jade, now 22, and mum Joanne, 41, of Wakefield Crescent, Earlsheaton, believe the sentence was too lenient.

They have asked the office of attorney general Jeremy Wright QC to review the matter.

Jade quit a hairdressing course at Kirklees College as travelling there took her past where the incident happened.

She completed it in Morley but has had emotional problems related to the incident and remains on anti-depressants.

Joanne said the biggest impact is not knowing if anything else was done while Jade was asleep.

She added: “If you know what’s happened you can try to get over it, but Jade doesn’t know and that’s what made her life a living nightmare.

“We’ve been through this for five years and it now feels like she’s got nothing for it.”

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