July 2017

Pensioner, 84, jailed for 12 years for sex abuse against young girl

A 14-year-old girl washed her mouth out with bleach after being forced to perform a sex act on a paedophile who abused her repeatedly from the age of 10, a court has heard.

Derek Lemmon, 84, forced his young victim to keep a ‘terrible secret’ for nearly 30 years before she plucked up the courage to tell police of the abuse in March last year.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard that the victim bathed in bleach and washed her mouth out with the noxious substance to try and cleanse herself after one of the paedophile’s many attacks.

Prosecutor Simon Foster said Lemmon’s abuse of the girl was calculated and that he engineered situations so that he could be alone with her.

“He controlled, manipulated, and indeed conditioned his victim so that sexual activity between the two of them became effectively the norm for her. I describe this as systematic sexual grooming.” Foster said.

Lemmon, from Portsmouth, pleaded guilty to eight counts of indecent assault. Two of these offences would now be considered rape but he had to be charged and sentenced according to the laws of the time.

Foster read a statement from the victim to the court in which she lamented never “having the chance to be me”.

“I dreamed for a long time of the day I’d no longer have to be scared for myself and others,” she added.

The woman, now in her 40s, added: ‘I feel like justice has been done.’

Judge Susan Evans said the girl had been forced to keep a “terrible secret” into adulthood, adding: “You controlled and manipulated her and created opportunities to be alone with her.

“She was forced to keep a terrible secret for many years, terrified of its revelation and what may follow. She even bathed in bleach to try and feel clean after your disgusting abuse of her.”

Lemmon, who can only walk a few yards and is hard of hearing was jailed for 12 years and six months in custody, with a year’s extended licence.

The judge said: ‘You will serve have of that custodial term in prison. You will then be released if you live that long.’

Damian Hayes, for Lemmon, said his client would never again see his wife, who is in a nursing home.

Outside court the victim said she would never have been able to come to court without support from the Independent Sexual Violence Advocate, now run by charity Aurora New Dawn. The service looks after the needs of victims, supporting them through the criminal justice system.

Advertisements