July 2017

Shrewsbury pensioner jailed for sex crimes against children

A Shrewsbury pensioner has been jailed for historic sexual offences against children that happened up to 50 years ago.

David Fill, 71, of Worcester Road, who now suffers ill-health, was sentenced to two years and four months at Mold Crown Court.

He was told that if his offending had happened today he would be looking at a much longer sentence of up to 13 years.

But at the time he was offending – when he was in his 20s, 30s and 40s – there was a two-year maximum.

He received two 14-month sentences to be served consecutively – and a concurrent eight-month sentence – and he must register with the police as a sex offender for 10 years.

A restraining order was made not to contact the three victims, then young girls but who are now grown women.

Judge Niclas Parry said that Fill was sexually abusing girls who were very young. One was aged under 10 and the other two were young teenagers at the time.

The court heard he had assaulted the girls and then warned them not to tell their families. All the offences happened in North Wales.

Judge Parry said it was extremely important the public and, in particular, his victims understood if he had offended today – with threats and the significant disparity in age – the starting point would have been a sentence of eight years, rising to 13 years.

But the offending was pre 1985 when the maximum was two years.

“The consequence is that the sentence that this court can pass pales by comparison to what the sentence would have been if the offences had been committed today,” he said.

Fill received credit for his guilty pleas but the judge said he had to take into account that there were three victims and his actions had a long-term effect on their lives.

The judge said he had taken into account the fact there had been no offending since the 1980s as well as his current medical conditions, which he said would make his custodial sentence more difficult to serve.

He also took into account totality of sentence.

Prosecuting barrister Simon Rogers said that one victim told how it had a massive impact on her life. It affected her relationships and she felt that she had lost out on so much and was medicated for anxiety.

Another described it as devastating, she felt she could not speak out and she had contemplated suicide.