Man who sexually assaulted toddler in the street could be jailed

Ipswich Crown Court.

Dumitru Ciornila will be sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court on July 22 - Credit: Archant

A 44-year-old man who sexually assaulted a toddler in an Ipswich street has been warned he could be jailed when he is sentenced next month.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that Dumitru Ciornila denied being a paedophile and claimed that what he did wasn’t unusual behaviour in his home country of Romania.

Ciornila, of Surrey Road, Ipswich, had denied sexually assaulting a boy under the age of 13 by touching his genitals but on Thursday (June 30) he changed his plea to guilty. 

The incident happened in the north-west area of Ipswich on September 20, 2020.

Adjourning sentence for a pre-sentence report, Judge Emma Peters described the incident as “very unusual” and said she would like to know more from the probation service about any future risk the defendant might pose.

She said the three-year-old victim had been walking along an Ipswich street with his mother when Ciornila, who has no previous convictions, had approached him and squeezed his genitals.

Judge Peters said her eyebrows were raised at the suggestion that this behaviour would be acceptable in Romania.

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She adjourned sentence until July 22 and warned Ciornila he could receive an immediate prison sentence.

“This offence is clearly deserving of a prison sentence - the issue is whether it will be immediate or suspended,” said Judge Peters.

She ordered Ciornila to sign the sex offenders’ register on an interim basis.