Suffolk: Mother left devastated after convicted sex offender walks free

A MOTHER has spoken of her devastation after the 80-year-old convicted of gross indecency with her two daughters walked free from court.

William Reynolds of Top Road, in Rattlesden, was convicted in February of committing acts of gross indecency with two girls under the age of 14.

At his sentencing at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday, he was given an 18-month prison sentence suspended for two years, put on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years and ordered to pay �2,800 in court costs.

Judge John Devaux told the court the main reason for the suspension of the sentence was the poor health of Reynolds’ wife, who recently battled bowel cancer and has severe agoraphobia, and has no one else to look after her.

The judge said: “It’s really because of her that I’m suspending the sentence today. Without her, you would have had to serve this sentence at once.

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“There is an exceptional circumstance and that is the state of your wife, for whom you are the principal carer.”

But the mother of the two victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has spoken of her distress at the sentence.

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“This was our worst fear,” she said. “It’s just absolutely bizarre, and there’s nothing we can do about it.

“If he had gone to prison, that would have been justice, but he’s just gone home now.

“It’s changed my daughters. It’s been devastating for our family.”

The two girls – who were both under the age of 10 at the time of the offences – had to testify at the trial along with their mother and tell the jury about how the 80-year-old asked them to touch him.

She added: “What’s the point in putting your children through all that? It’s been so hard. They were distraught.

“First we had to wait to find out if it would go to court at all, then we had to do statements and see the police and the kids had to go through all that.

“It was so hard to stand up there and talk about things like that in front of a load of strangers.

“How do they ever get over this? They have held that secret for all these years and then having to put themselves through that court case, going through hell, to come out with nothing is just absolutely disgusting.”

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