November 2017

‘No remorse’ from OAP sex offender, says judge who jailed him

A perverted pensioner who molested a dementia suffering grandma while on a suspended sentence for abusing a young child has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.

Old soldier David Harrod was given a chance by a judge last year, after he admitted sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl after befriending her family.

But having moved in to a care home with his wife the 73-year-old was caught groping an extremely vulnerable 86-year-old widow who suffers severe vascular dementia.

David Maunder, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court the victim had been at the Wiltshire home for a number of years before the Harrods moved in.

He said as well as dementia she had endured a heart attack and numerous mini-strokes, which had left her groggy, shaky and confused.

On April 29 her daughter was on the way home from a visit when she returned, fearing she had left the ironing board up.

After letting herself into the room she saw Harrod on her mum, whose top had been pulled up, groping her breasts.

When she asked what he was doing he made an excuse and left and then she realised the door alarm alerting staff to someone being in the apartment had been turned off.

The daughter asked her mum what was happening and she told her ‘she didn’t really know’, Mr Maunder said.

He said the victim’s son had also expressed concerns as his mother had told him someone comes into her room and watches her sleep and a man had wanted her to touch him.

A carer at the home had also noticed how on another occasion the alarm was again turned off and she went in to find the defendant there looking ‘sheepish’.

Harrod, formerly of The Croft, Urchfont, pleaded guilty to engaging in sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder inhibiting choice.

He initially denied the matter, saying the woman was consenting, only changing his plea on the morning of his trial after a judge ruled the jury could hear about his past.

In February last year he received a 15-month jail term suspended for 18 months for abusing the 12-year-old girl, who had learning difficulties.

Mr Maunder said that in both cases the defendant had suggested that the victims, who were each vulnerable, were willing participants, showing a ‘transference of blame’.

Jailing him Judge Robert Pawson said “It is not the first time you have targeted a vulnerable victim for your own gratification

“The sentence you received in 2016 was 15 months suspended for 18 months. There was still about six months of that suspended sentence to run.

“You were given a chance by this court and an opportunity to rehabilitate yourself. It is an opportunity you singularly failed to take.

“You chose your victim due to her mental vulnerability. The facts of the previous conviction make it clear to me that your sexual offending follows a pattern.

“It seems you lack true remorse. You may be ashamed but you blame your victim in part.

“You continued to deny realising she was suffering from dementia. You continued to deny in the pre-sentence report that you behaved in this way for any sexual gratification.

“And your plea of guilty was entered at the very, very, last minute before trial. Because of that, the suggestion you are exhibiting any real remorse, it seems to me, is not borne out by the facts.”

As well as jailing Harrod for 42 months he also ordered he register as a sex offender and abide by a sexual harm prevention order for life.

March 2016

Pervert caught groping girl after her mother spotted the sick crime in FRIDGE reflection

A PERVERT was caught groping a 12-year-old girl – after her mother spotted the sickening crime in the reflection of her fridge DOOR.

Ex-soldier David Harrod, 71, thought he was out of sight in the next room when the woman spotted him pawing at the child’s chest and backside in the highly-polish surface.

Her mother was keeping an eye on the pensioner because she had suspicions he had been molesting the girl, and confronted him last February.

The father-of-two told police it was a “silly mistake” and admitted sexual assault but a judge imposed a suspended sentence after hearing he was a carer for his disabled wife.

Colin Meeke, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court: “He was alone with her in the room but the mother could see in through a reflection on the high gloss polish on the refrigerator.

“She saw him reaching out towards her, groping her breasts and his hand went on her bottom, fondling her bottom.

“She went in and challenged him. She said ‘I saw you’.

“After a while he burst into tears, he apologised and said he would not come back to their house.”

Harrod, from Devizes, Wiltshire, initially pleaded not guilty to three counts of sexual assault, and the case was due to go to trial.

But prosecutors dropped the two charges – which relate to similar allegations when the child was aged nine to 12 – when he changed his plea to a single charge.

Robin Shellard, defending, said Harrod had never been in any trouble in the past, made toys for orphanages and was decorated during his time in the army.

He told the court: “It is a decoration he has sent back to the Queen such is his shame.”

Mr Shellard said his client cares for his wife, who has restricted mobility because of arthritis.

Passing sentence Judge Peter Blair QC said: “You touched her in a sexual way which gives rise to you having pleaded guilty.

“We don’t know what consequences that will have on her in the future but it is something that will not be able to be deleted from her memory and her experience, and you are responsible for that and it may be harmful, for a long time hence, before she moves on.”

He imposed a 15-month jail term suspended for 18 months with 20 days of rehabilitation, and ordered Harrod to register as a sex offender for 10 years and imposed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

February 2016

Pervert, 71, must register as sex offender

A PENSIONER who molested a girl when she was 12 years old has been warned to expect a jail term.

David Harrod, 71, must now register as a sex offender after admitting groping the child in February last year.

Harrod had been due to face trial by judge and jury later in the month after denying three counts of sexual assault of a child.

Yesterday the case was brought back before a judge and Harrod, of The Croft, Urchfont, changed his plea to a single charge.

Colin Meeke, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court that the defendant accepted squeezing the girl’s breasts and groping her below the waistline, both over clothing.

“There is a degree of breach of trust as he was a family friend,” he said.

He said that when he is sentenced the Crown will drop the other two charges, which relate to similar allegations when the girl was younger.

Robin Shellard, defending, said: “He is an elderly man of previous good character. I would ask for a pre-sentence report.”

Judge Tim Mousley QC adjourned the case to February 24 to give the probation service time to see him and released him on bail.

He said: “Whoever sentences you will have to consider an immediate custodial sentence, this crosses the custody threshold. You, Mr Harrod, should expect an immediate prison sentence.”