July 2017

Paedophile, 101, avoids jail for sexually assaulting schoolgirl

A 101-year-old paedophile has avoided jail for sexually assaulting a schoolgirl 40 years ago.

Douglas Hammersley pleaded guilty to all three charges brought against him at Aylesbury Crown Court.

His victim, who was young at the time of the attacks, is now in her 40s.

She was lauded by the NSPCC for her ‘tremendous courage’ in coming forward about the attacks.

Judge Francis Sheridan said he would save his sentencing remarks until another hearing in September.

However, he told the elderly defendant that he would be given a two year prison sentence, suspended for two years – meaning that unless he commits another offence in the next two years he will not need to go to prison.

Hammersley was born in April 1916, as Britain was in the throes of World War I.

He now lives in New Malden in Surrey.

He had to attend numerous court hearings debating whether, at his age, he was fit enough to go through the legal process.

But more than six months after the centenarian was charged, he finally pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent assault against a girl under the age of 14, in 1977 and 1979.