Essex teaching assistant Michael Pena-Briggs jailed for sexual assault on a child

Michael Pena-Briggs was jailed for a child sex offence.
Credit: Essex Police
Michael Pena-Briggs was jailed for four years and ordered to be on the sex offenders' register for life. Credit: Essex Police

A former teaching assistant has been jailed after being found guilty of sexually assaulting a child.

A jury took less than two hours to convict Michael Pena-Briggs, 25, of sexual assault of a child under 13 after a retrial at Chelmsford Crown Court, said Essex Police.

On Monday, he was jailed for four years and ordered to be on the sex offenders' register for life.

Pena-Briggs had been arrested at his home in The Grove in Cambridge in March 2019 by officers from the force's child abuse investigation team.

After what police called "a complex and sensitive investigation" into offences that were committed in Essex, he was charged in October of that year.

The family of the victim thanked police and CPS for their work, adding: “We hope that by achieving this significant result, other victims and their families will have the confidence to come forward and work with the police so that more offenders can be apprehended and more children protected.”

Det Sgt Stuart Pryke, who investigated, said: “Offences of this kind will always be shocking and disturbing, particularly when that person is in a position of trust.

“This will undoubtedly be difficult news for the local community but please be assured that our teams and partners have safeguarded and supported all those involved in the investigation.

“The victim and their family have shown incredible strength and courage throughout this lengthy and complex case.

“Everything we do, and all the hard work is for them, to make sure that they get the justice they deserve."

The first trial, in May 2021, had resulted in a hung jury.

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