Sex abuse pensioner spared prison
A DISGRACED pensioner who sexually abused a four-year-old girl walked free from court yesterday after a judge decided not to send him to prison.Geoffrey Moore, 65, of High Town Green, Rattlesden, admitted five offences of indecency with a child and one offence of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
A DISGRACED pensioner who sexually abused a four-year-old girl walked free from court yesterday after a judge decided not to send him to prison.
Geoffrey Moore, 65, of High Town Green, Rattlesden, admitted five offences of indecency with a child and one offence of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
After hearing mitigation from Moore's barrister, Judge John Devaux said he felt able to avoid passing a prison sentence on him.
Instead he made Moore the subject of a three-year community rehabilitation order and ordered him to address his sexual offending as directed by his supervising probation officer.
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He said that if Moore breached the order he would be brought back to court and could expect a sentence of nine to 12-months imprisonment.
In addition to the community rehabilitation order, Moore was ordered to sign on the sex offenders' register for five years and was disqualified from working with children for life.
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He was also ordered to pay £912 prosecution costs and Judge Devaux ordered that his defence costs should be recovered from him.
Peter Fenn, prosecuting at Ipswich Crown Court, said the offences came to light after the victim told her parents.
When interviewed by the police Moore admitted asking the girl to "scratch an itch" on his penis and accepted that it had been for his sexual gratification.
He said he was deeply ashamed of what he had done and realised it was wrong.
He told police that he had shown the girl where his itch was and she had touched his penis over his clothing.
He said the girl had never touched his naked penis although he had unzipped his trousers and asked her to squeeze his penis over his underwear. She had declined and he had done up his trousers.
Matthew McNiff, for Moore, handed a number of references to the court and said the authors of a number of these had attended court to support the defendant.
He said Moore was of "exemplary good character" and had pleaded guilty to the offences at the first opportunity.
"At 65 this man has set at nil everything he has achieved in his life because of his foolishness".
He said Moore's fall from grace had been "really rather spectacular". He said that aggravating features such as coercion and bribery were absent from the case.
He said Moore did not represent a serious or ongoing risk. "He has accepted full responsibility and has shown real remorse. He is shamed," said Mr McNiff.
He told the court that since the offences had come to light Moore had been assaulted by a member of the public in his village.
"It is a crime that has been reported and investigated. His fear and police concern is for his family," said Mr McNiff.