June 2017

Blurton pervert, 61, warned schoolgirl not to tell anyone after sexual assault

A 61-year-old man warned a schoolgirl not to tell anyone after sexually assaulting her.

David Smith admitted touching the victim inappropriately during an incident six years ago.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard the offence came to light in 2015 after the victim became upset at school and told staff what had happened.

Smith initially denied a charge of sexually assaulting a child aged under 13, but pleaded guilty on the day he was due to go on trial, on a basis that was accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service.

The court heard Smith admitted he had tickled the girl’s legs and then touched her on top of her knickers.

Prosecutor Benjamin Lawrence said that following the assault, Smith had convinced the girl not to tell anyone.

He said: “There was a verbal confrontation. He told her it was her fault and she pushed his hands there.”

Mr Lawrence said the victim disclosed what had happened after suffering a panic attack at school. She has received treatment for anxiety and depression since the incident.

The court heard Smith, of Pembridge Road, Blurton, had collapsed in 2012 and was now in a wheelchair, after being diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome.

David Farley, mitigating, said: “In the canon of these offences, this is at the bottom end of the scale.

“This is an isolated incident and he has no similar previous convictions.”

The court heard Smith had a number of convictions as a younger man, but had not offended since 1996 and had no convictions for sexual offences.

Judge Paul Glenn handed him a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.

He told Smith: “By your plea you accept the touching was intentional.

“It seems to me this was spontaneous and unplanned. It was short-lived. The risk of reoffending is low in this case.”

As part of his sentence, Smith must complete a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement, and a programme requirement as specified by the Probation Service.

He will be barred from a number of activities involving children and vulnerable adults.

Smith was ordered to pay £350 towards the prosecution costs.