On Air Now
Heart's Feel Good Weekend with Emma Bunton 7pm - 10pm
2 March 2019, 08:22 | Updated: 2 March 2019, 08:25
Personal trainer Robert Bessant is beginning a 24 year prison sentence.
A personal trainer from Birmingham has been jailed for 24 years for grooming and sexually assaulting young girls.
Robert Bessant, of Windermere Road, Moseley carried out his crimes against four victms aged between 12 and 14 over a 12 year period.
Police say Bessant was investigated after one of the girls reported being indecently touched after he massaged her legs.
He defended his actions by claiming that he was just helping the girls who were experiencing a growth spurt. He claimed that his job as a personal trainer and masseur gave him experience of this.
The 37-year-old was convicted of 16 crimes including three counts of rape on a child under the age of 13.
West Midlands Police Detective Sergeant Mark Hickman, from the force’s Public Protection Unit, said: "The bravery and courage of these girls in coming forward is admirable and I am so very thankful to those who reported their experiences to us.
"I would like to reassure and urge anyone who has ever thought about speaking to police about sexual abuse to come forward. We are here to help you.
"If you want to speak to me about this case in particular, please don’t hesitate to contact me on 101 ext 862 6037."
Survivors of sexual abuse can also speak to the NSPCC 24 hours a day on 0808 800 5000