• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Oxford man, 28, molested underage girl, jury finds


Aug 27, 2022

A dad has been found guilty of sexually assaulting an underage girl – including on one occasion after they’d both visited church.

Maxwel da Silva Miranda, 28, now of no fixed address, repeatedly pawed the child, who was aged around 12 and 13 at the time of the assaults.

She said that he had carried out his lascivious assault on one occasion when she was staying over at the Oxford property he shared with his wife and child. The group had earlier visited a church in Swindon.

Jurors took just a few hours to return unanimous verdicts to allegations of sexual assault and sexual assault of a child under-13 after the week-long trial at Oxford Crown Court.

Remanding him into custody to be sentenced on October 3, Judge Nigel Daly said: “I am concerned about this man. I want reports; I want reports [from the probation service] to consider dangerousness.”

If found to be a ‘dangerous offender’, Miranda faces an extended custodial sentence with a longer period when he will be on licence and supervised by specialist probation officers.

During the trial, the victim spoke of how the defendant would touch her while she was in the kitchen at her home.

“When it was happening I was scared to speak up,” she said.

Asked in a video-taped interview with detectives about why she had come forward in 2020, she said: “It’s just been bothering me. The whole situation. I just couldn’t lie to anybody anymore.”

The defendant denied wrongdoing, telling police after he was arrested in Wood Farm in November 2020 that ‘its not true and it never happened’.

Opening the case on Monday, prosecutor Gabrielle McAvock told the jury: “It is a bare denial from the defendant about these allegations. The burden of proof is on the prosecution. The standard of proof is that you must be sure of the defendant’s guilt.”

Miranda will be sentenced in October for a separate matter of distributing a class A video three times and downloading two extreme pornographic images showing people having sex with animals.

That distribution offence was committed in July 2021 only weeks after an Oxford judge imposed a community order after Miranda was found guilty of groping a 16-year-old girl while he gave a lift to her and her friends after picking them up on the Cowley Road.

Imposing that order, Judge Michael Gledhill QC said he would have been ‘perfectly justified’ in sending Miranda to prison – were it not for the fact he had to follow the Sentencing Council’s guidelines.

“You’re a sex pest,” the judge said. “That is what you were doing that night, sexually attracted to these young girls.”

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward