April 2019

Paedophile farmer jailed for second time for sickening sex abuse of girl and boy

A pensioner has been jailed for 10 years for the historic sexual abuse of a young girl and boy during visits to a Devon farm.

Arthur Bawden took every opportunity to get the girl alone with him in the farmhouse, in barns, and the milking parlour and carried on abusing her for years during the 1970s.

She was so young when the assaults started that she did not realise that what he was doing was wrong, and was too frightened and ashamed to tell anyone when she grew older and started learning about sex.

He claimed he had only touched her once when she was 16 and was sleeping in the kitchen during a farm visit in her school holidays.

He also abused a young boy who was visiting his farm at around the same time. He also isolated him by taking him away from the farmhouse before touching him sexually.

Bawden was originally jailed for 15 years at Exeter Crown Court in 2017 for the abuse of the girl but the jury’s verdicts were overturned by the Court of Appeal, which ordered a retrial.

He was released last year but found guilty of many of the allegations for a second time by a new jury last month.

He was acquitted of two counts of rape and two of indecent assault against the girl at the first trial and found not guilty of eight more counts of indecency at the new trial last month.

Bawden, aged 74, of Joey’s Field, Bishops Nympton, was found guilty of 11 counts of indecent assault or indecency against the girl and one of indecently assaulting the boy.

He admitted indecently assaulting the girl on one occasion, which he said happened after she turned 16.

He was jailed for 10 years and four months and put on the sex offenders register for life by Judge David Evans at Exeter Crown Court.

The judge told him: “The indecent assaults started with touching the girl when she was seven or eight and continued to when she was 13 to 15.

“By that time you had to be more forcible to commit the offence because she had grown older and became more resistant. You took the boy to a location away from your home where you said you had work to do.

“There has been an ongoing effect an both victims throughout their childhood and into adulthood and up to the present day.

“The profound way abuse affects people personally and psychologically was clear from the evidence at the trial and from the victim personal statements.

“You tried to blacken and undermine the female victim’s character. That demonstrates that you have very little true remorse and you fail to understand the true extent of the harm you caused.

“You made reference during your evidence of the girl ‘making a meal of it’ in relation to the one offence you admitted.”

During the two trials, the girl, now an adult, told the jury how Bawden started to abuse her during farm visits. He bribed her with money and sweets and sexually assaulted her in various farm buildings.

The boy told the jury he had loved visiting the farm but had been sexually assaulted when Bawden took him to work with him away from the main buildings.

In his evidence, Bawden claimed he was too busy running a 90 acre farm with his father Reg to have time to abuse the girl. He said he had never been left alone with her when she was young.

October 2017

Paedophile farmer bribed abuse victim with sweets and money

A pensioner has been jailed for 15 years for the historic sexual abuse of a young girl during visits to a Devon farm.

Arthur Bawden took every opportunity to get the child alone with him in the farmhouse, in barns, and the milking parlour and carried on abusing her for years during the 1970s

She was so young when the assaults started that she did not realise that what he was doing was wrong, and was too frightened and ashamed to tell anyone when she grew older and started learning about sex.

He claimed he had only touched her once when she was 16 and was sleeping in the kitchen during a farm visit in her school holidays.

Bawden, aged 72, of Joey’s Field, Bishops Nympton, was found guilty of 19 counts of indecent assault and indecency but was cleared of two counts of rape and two other indecent.

He was jailed for a total of 15 years by Judge Graham Cottle at Exeter Crown Court and ordered to sign on the sex offenders’ register for life.

The judge told him: “You took any opportunity that presented itself in and around the farm to abuse her; in a toilet at the farm, a milking parlour and farm buildings.

“She was very vulnerable by reason of her age. She did not have any understanding at all what was happening or why or whether it was right or wrong. With increasing knowledge from school, she realised it was all terribly wrong.

“Her victim personal statement shows that in later life she has felt anxious, depressed, and unable to trust people. That is a consequence of what you did to her when she was a child.

“You got away with it for a very considerable number of years but after 40 years, it has finally caught up with you.”

During a five day trial the girl, now an adult, told the jury how Bawden started to abuse her when she was four or five and visited the farm.

She says he bribed her with money and sweets and sexually assaulted her in a downstairs toilet and farm buildings.

Bawden said he was too busy running a 90 acre farm with his father Reg to have time to abuse the girl. He said he had never been left alone with her when she was young.