July 2017

Charlesworth pensioner faces jail for historic sex offences

A Charlesworth pensioner has been warned he will probably be jailed after abusing a young boy four decades ago – but not until he has undergone pending heart bypass surgery. 

Graham Saunders was convicted at a London court but the judge put off sentencing for reports, to allow time for the operation and the pensioner to convalesce.

The court had been told that the 78-year-old, who lives on Town Lane in the village, began preying on his victim in the mid-seventies when the boy was around 11 or 12 years old.

He was unanimously convicted by a Kingston-upon-Thames Crown Court jury of three counts of indecent assault and two counts of indecency with a child and will be sentenced on September 15.

The court heard that Saunders was previously an employee of Manchester Polytechnic and some of the abuse occurred during trips to the Lake District.

Judge Timothy Lamb QC told him: “A custodial sentence is almost certain to follow these convictions. I have information that you are to undergo major surgery that will keep you in hospital for several weeks.

“I want extensive enquiries about your conduct in 1971 and test how straight you have been in this court.

“I will allow time for the operation and period of convalescence. There will follow a probable custodial sentence.”

In advance of sentencing, the judge ordered Saunders to sign the sex offenders register.