July 2016

Paedophile who abused four girls jailed


A paedophile who abused four girls over a period of more than a decade has been jailed for 14 years.

Stephen Garrod’s youngest victim was only seven-years-old.

The 54-year-old denied nine offences, but was convicted by a jury at Bradford Crown Court on Wednesday of five charges of indecent assault, one of sexual assault against a child under 13, and one of exposure.

He was cleared of two further charges of sexual assault against a child under 13.

Prosecutor Gerald Hendron told the court Garrod, of Plumpton Walk, Wrose, Shipley, had exposed himself to one of the girls, threatening her not to tell anyone about the incident.

The first offence took place between 1997 and 1998 and most recent happened between 2007 and 2009.

West Yorkshire Police received a complaint about Garrod in 2003, but after an investigation, no further action was taken. In 2014, a second complaint was made to police.

Officers then re-opened the first case, at which point the third and fourth complainants came forward.

Mr Hendron read impact statements from three of the victims to the court before Judge Neil Davey QC passed sentence yesterday.

The first victim, who was aged between seven and nine when abused by Garrod, said: “Ever since that time it’s always been with me.

“It makes me feel I’m not worth much, and it affected my whole self-esteem.

“It made me very wary of trusting people, and I have to doubt everything all the time.”

The second victim’s statement said: It’s always there, and I can’t stop myself thinking about it.

“I get sickly, nervous, and scared about meeting new people.”

A third victim, who was aged 11 when she was abused, said: “I lost my trust in adults. Before all this I was happy-go-lucky as a child should be, but after, I was moody and reserved.”

John Boumphrey, for Garrod, said his client had been born almost deaf and dumb, which had led to problems with socialising and learning how to deal with other people.

He said Garrod maintained his denial of the offences, but was suffering from depression and a range of medical issues, asking Judge Davey not to pass a sentence that would “crush” him.

Jailing him for 14 years, Judge Davey told Garrod: “Your apparent blameless life masked a sexual attraction for young girls.

“Each victim suffered psychological harm as a result of what you chose to do to them, and they each suffer to this day.”

Garrod was also subjected to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.