December 2017: Needham has now been released back to Bolton
Retired driving instructor who sexually abused young girl
A RETIRED driving instructor has been jailed after abusing a girl and possessing indecent pictures of her.
Geoffrey Needham admitted 19 offences including two of sexual assault as well as possessing 600 indecent images of children.
Bolton Crown Court heard that the victim had initially been targeted by Needham in 2010 when she was just 12-years-old.
The 67-year-old, of Crown Street,Horwich, was sentenced to five years in prison.
Speaking of the affect on the victim, Colin Buckle, prosecuting, said: “She keeps in her own bedroom, and her trust in others, particularly older men, has been undermined. She feels used and she has in her mind that people she doesn’t know see her and know what’s happened.”
Needham was arrested in February 2013 before admitting the offences in April of the same year — after the victim told police.
In a victim impact statement read in part by Judge Elliot Knopf, the victim, now aged 16, said she didn’t know what was happening, or understand until she was older.
David Toal, defending, said the defendant had been a victim of abuse himself, and after being a “law abiding member of society” everything changed for him after he was diagnosed with cancer in 2008.
Mr Toal added: “He accepts he had no excuse and that what he did was wholly inappropriate.
Needham was criticised by Judge Knopf for suggesting that at times the victim voluntarily went ahead with the abuse.
Sentencing, Judge Knopf said: “A child can never be held responsible for what happens by the actions of someone who is older than the child. The child can never be responsible.
“There is no question in my mind that you took full advantage of an opportunity that was there that you created by your own actions.
“You were the victim of an abuse at the hands of others when you were a young child. That experience should have made you all the more understanding of the consequences for a young girl of 12 and 13 who was the target of your attentions.”
Needham will also be the subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order and must sign the sex offenders’ register for life.
Pervert pleads guilty to a string of sexual offences against a young girl
A Bolton man has appeared in Bolton crown court to admit multiple sexual offences against a young female child
Driving instructor Geoffrey Needham, 68, of Crown lane, Horwich in Bolton has admitted to a total of 21 sexual offences which included various sexual offences on a child who was aged under 13 years old, possession of indecent images of children
Needham faced a total of 22 charges but pleaded not guilty to one charge and the judge allowed that one to lie on file.
The court heard that the female victim was just eleven years old when Needham first sexually assaulted her. The abuse lasted for approximately two-and-a-half years.
Needham will be sentenced on February 24th at Bolton crown court.