Ex-TV personality jailed for girl sex assault

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The Independent Online

The former TV dieting personality and radio DJ Barry Bethell was jailed for four years today after being convicted of sexually assaulting a young girl by luring her to his home with the promise that he could help break her into showbusiness.

The 66-year-old, who became famous as the face of SlimFast in the early 1990s, was also found guilty last month of three other offences of taking indecent images of a child following a trial at Canterbury Crown Court in Kent.

Bethell was cleared of sexually assaulting a second young girl, following four hours and 38 minutes of deliberations by the jury of 10 women and two men.

He had already pleaded guilty to eight other charges, including seven of taking indecent images of children and one of possessing indecent images downloaded from the internet.

Sentencing Bethell to a total of four years for the 12 offences, judge Adele Williams said: "You did this, in my judgment, for your own sexual purposes."

Referring to the sexual assault, she added: "You do not begin to recognise the damage you have caused to this young life."

Bethell was made subject to a sexual offences prevention order for life.

Judge Williams recommended Bethell serve at least half his sentence, less his 483 days in custody, which leaves him with approximately eight months left to serve.