A JEHOVAH’S Witness who got sexual kicks from strangling young girls went unpunished for years – after his activities were covered up by the congregation at the Warwick church he attended.
But perverted Ian Pheasey’s past finally caught up with him when one of his victims went to the police having become concerned about him getting a job at a hospice.
The Warwick resident was jailed for five years after pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to assaulting one girl causing her actual bodily harm and two of indecently assaulting other girls.
The 54 year-old of Langcliffe Avenue, was also ordered to register as a sex offender for life and given a sexual harm prevention order restricting his contact with children.
The offences Pheasey admitted dated back to the 1990s when he was a member of the congregation at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Woodloes area.
His first victim was attacked in the Kingdom Hall library, where Pheasey was the librarian at the time, when the seven-year-old girl went to get a book.
Prosecutor Nicholas Taplow told the court how Pheasey closed the door, and as she reached for the book, he grabbed her round the neck – strangling her so she could not breathe – until she managed to wriggle free and run out.
The girl was too frightened to tell anyone and his actions may have gone undiscovered if it were not for his second victim’s subsequent complaint.
That girl was 14 at the time, and when Pheasey saw her while he was doing some work for an elderly woman who lived near her home, he called her over.
He grabbed her round the neck and dragged her into the house throwing her to the kitchen floor where he straddled her and squeezed her neck. The girl fell into unconsciousness, came round but then passed out again.
Pheasey let go, but as she got up he threatened he would kill her if she told anyone, and would rape any daughters she may have in later life.
She ran home and told her mother only to be told to clean herself up before being taken to hospital for treatment to the bruising on her neck.
“Sadly her parents chose to conceal the sexual nature of the incident. They continued to understate the seriousness of the assault, and the matter was swept under the carpet by the church,” said Mr Taplow.
Over the years the victim suffered flashbacks and night terrors but felt unable to speak out.
Pheasey’s third victim was just six when he was carrying out some work at her parents’ home.
As she sat in his van, he began to tickle her before moving his hand up under her skirt – but stopped when she kicked out and screamed.
Following his arrest, Pheasey said he could not remember the library incident, but accepted he had put his hands round that girl’s neck on more than one occasion.
Jailing Pheasey, Judge Richard Griffith-Jones said: “You obtain sexual gratification from the idea of strangling children.
“Strangulation creates a risk of causing very serious injury and death so it’s not simply a matter of it being frightening and disgusting that small children have been made to suffer in this way, it’s the risk they would suffer something even more catastrophic.”
Of the 14-year-old victim, he said: “She must have been absolutely petrified. Sadly, when she told her parents their priorities were entirely misplaced.
“As a result of their failures and of those around her, she has had to bear this terrible memory.”