June 2017

Pervert OAP jailed despite claiming he doesn’t have long to live

A pensioner who sexually assaulted two youngsters has been jailed – despite claiming he hadn’t got long to live.

Barry Matthews, aged 78, was sentenced to four years and eight months at Stafford Crown Court.

He had tried to get the sentencing put off, claiming he didn’t have long to live.

He said he was suffering from numerous ailments, including heart disease, asthma, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome and shortness of breath.

His defending counsel asked Recorder Mr Michael Elsom for the case to be adjourned so further doctors’ evidence could be gathered.

But Mr Elsom said a comprehensive doctor’s report provided all the information needed.

He said: “The courts regularly have to sentence people who are suffering illness. I have seen nothing to indicate the defendant’s assertion that he does not have long to live.”

The court heard Matthews, of Attlee Crescent, Stafford, initially denied three counts of sexually assaulting two boys under the age of 13 – but changed his plea when the case came to trial at Stafford Crown Court in April.

In statements to the court both victims’ families said their lives had been ruined and they hoped the sentencing of Matthews would allow them to move on in some way.

One victim’s family said: “We were physically and emotionally broken.”

The court was told it had taken time for Matthews to come to terms with what he had done and when he did he pleaded guilty, sparing witnesses from giving evidence.

But Mr Elsom said: “The effects on those who were your physical victims goes way beyond what you did to them.

“Not only do the two young boys have to live with what you did to them, they had to live for 18 months with the knowledge that they might have to give evidence about you. These offences were serious and not isolated.”