A successful Southam-based businessman has been jailed after he finally admitted sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl after a rugby club function they both attended.
Stephen Mazurek, boss of his family’s optical services company, had pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to two charges of sexual activity with a child.
But on the day of his trial, with his teenage victim at court ready to give evidence, he changed his pleas to guilty.
Mazurek, 42, of Pine Tree Crescent, Southam, was jailed for 27 months and ordered to register as a sex offender for ten years and made subject to a sexual harm prevention order.
Prosecutor Caroline Bray said the incident took place after a rugby club function Mazurek had attended, where he had been drinking and also bought drinks for the girl.
He later asked the girl for a kiss, and she gave him a peck on the cheek - but he then tried to kiss her on the mouth and to put his tongue in her mouth.
The 14-year-old froze, and he then began to squeeze her breasts over her clothing before moving his hand down and touching her intimately over her knickers.
After she fled from him, the girl called a friend to whom she revealed what had happened, and her mother was also told – but when her mother confronted Mazurek, he claimed it had never happened and that it was a false allegation.
He continued to deny it following his arrest, and Miss Bray said his comments in a pre-sentence report show ‘a defendant who struggles to understand why what happened, happened.’
At her own request, the girl tearfully read out her impact statement in court, during which she outlined a dramatic impact the incident has had on her.
She revealed: “I have suffered massively. I thought killing myself would end my pain. The only thing that stopped me was wondering how my family would cope.
“People did not believe me because he’s this amazing businessman... but why would I choose to lie?
“Although I have my family around me, I just can’t find closure. I am sick and tired of aching like this.”
After she finished, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC consoled the girl: “You have delivered that with dignity and courage, and it has helped me, and everyone here, to understand. I hope fervently that you will find some closure.
“You said life can be so unkind, and so unthoughtful and so aggressive. That’s right, but there is still goodness, and there is still hope, and I trust you will find it.”
Graeme Simpson, defending, said that Mazurek, managing director of Southam-based Mazurek Optical Services, has been doing all he can ‘to deal with the issues which arise out of this,’ and has paid £1,800 out of his own pocket to undertake counselling.
“It is hoped that she can move forward and find peace. I hope she can take some solace in the fact that she has in fact been believed, and that Mr Mazurek pleaded guilty, knowing she was at court when he entered his pleas.”
Handing in a number of references, Mr Simpson said: “He runs the family business, a business he set up himself 14 years ago. It’s a successful business, and employs eight people.
“His accountant is of the opinion that the company is dependent on Stephen Mazurek for its day-to-day decisions and long-term strategy. If he could not continue running the business, there’s a risk of it failing, with all the consequences of that.”
Mr Simpson added that Mazurek had been of ‘positive good character,’ and his company has sponsored a local rugby club, of which he had been chairman, and charities, and provided equipment for a promising local 17-year-old boxer.
Jailing Mazurek, Judge Lockhart told him: “No doubt drink had had an effect on you, and you were disinhibited.
“You kissed her over and over again, you began to stroke her hips, and you sought to put your tongue in her mouth. You squeezed her breast over her bra, and your hand then moved down.
“I have heard her relate her victim personal statement. It is plain to me it has had a significant effect on her.
“I accept a custodial sentence will have an impact not only on you, but on your business, but there must be an immediate custodial sentence for this.”