A man who attacked a schoolgirl as she walked through a Margate park has been jailed.

The victim was walking through Dane Park during the early evening of Tuesday 7 December 2022 when she noticed a man was following and had tried to hide behind a tree when she looked back.

Grabbed and pushed to the ground

The girl phoned her mother, but it was then the man – Steven Palmer – grabbed her from behind and pushed her to the ground.

Steven Palmer_latest
Jailed – Steven Palmer Photo: Kent Police

Palmer tried to remove her clothing, touching her inappropriately and sexually assaulting her.

The incident had been seen by another girl in the park who had also heard the victim scream. The witness ran to a group of nearby dog walkers and alerted them to the crime taking place.

One of the dog walkers shone his torch over the area and located the offender and victim on the ground. He pushed Palmer away from the victim.

Palmer was confronted by the group and he tried to assault one of the men. He was then stopped from leaving the scene while the police were called and he was arrested.


The 45-year-old from Margate was charged with one count of sexual touching of a girl which he admitted at Canterbury Crown Court. An additional offence of common assault against one of the witnesses will lie on file.

Palmer was sentenced on Thursday 11 May 2023 to six years in prison and must carry out a further three years on licence once released. He will also be subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Investigating officer Detective Lucy Clarke said: ‘We believe that women and girls should be able to walk alone without risk of attack or abuse, and Kent Police does not tolerate violence against them. Steven Palmer’s attack was a frightening incident and we are thankful to those people that evening who noticed something wasn’t right, and intervened.

‘Their community spirit and swiftness to act has meant Palmer is now in prison and unable to pose a threat to anyone else.’

The force works hard to ensure that people feel safe in our communities and officers regularly hold walk and talk events for the public to raise any safety concerns.

Click here for further information, advice and support relating to Violence Against Women and Girls. This page also includes details on how Kent Police is tackling offences including domestic abuse, stalking, harassment and other forms of violence.

If you have been a victim of violence and wish to report an offence, click here.

By Ed

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