March 2018

Rochdale pensioner who admitted abusing two teenagers in the 70s

AN 85-year-old devout church-goer has been unmasked as a paedophile who molested two girls in the 1970s.

Kenneth Hardacre, 85, admitted fondling a 13-year-old in 1971 and groping a 14-year old girl five years later, telling her: “This is something I am entitled to do.”

Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court heard that for more than 40 years the retired labourer had evaded justice, until the victims reported him to police.

Now in their 50s, the court heard they both suffered “permanent damage”, despite Hardacre’s lawyer, Alistair Webster, describing the abuse as “far from what we would class as sexual assault nowadays”.

Hardacre admitted two indecent assaults and was given a two-year suspended sentence.

Judge Bernadette Baxter told him: “You are an abusive bully.

“The girls were in their early teens.

“This does cross the custody threshold but because of your prompt guilty plea and the age of the offences, this will be suspended.”

Hardacre, of Rochdale, must sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years and be accompanied to church so he is never left alone with a child.

Prosecutor Nicholas Clarke said the first victim was on holiday when he touched her naked breast.

He added: “She said she is struggling 40 years later.”

In 1976 he molested the second girl during a visit to a friend.

Mr Clarke said he knocked at her bedroom door.

She opened it and “he lifted her top, touched her naked breast and told her, ‘This is something I am entitled to do’. She has never recovered”.