Pervert pensioner molested girl in Gillingham
Justice caught up with a pensioner who molested a young girl more than three decades ago when he was jailed for four years.
David Heard’s victim stayed silent for many years before finally reporting him to the police.
She told in a victim statement how she had been deeply affected by the abuse in Gillingham in the early 1980s.
At the time I had no idea of the lasting effects it would have on me,” she said. “I grieve for the little girl who was not allowed to be a little girl.”
Heard, now of Kirkman Close, Bedford, denied indecent assault but was convicted by a jury at Maidstone Crown Court.
Judge David Griffith-Jones QC said the 71-year-old was plainly attracted to the young girl when he “imposed” himself on her.
The judge told Heard: “On any view, this was a disgraceful incident, one which confused and perplexed her. You caused her ongoing anguish and torment.”
His powers were limited, he said, as to the sentence he could pass, as the maximum for the offence in such circumstances was five years.
“There is little mitigation,” said Judge Griffith-Jones. “I accept the effect of a prison sentence is likely to be more severe on you than it would be a younger man.
“It is right to deal with this offence as an isolated incident. There is no suggestion you pose a current risk to children.
“Plainly, an immediate sentence of imprisonment is demanded. Nothing less will do.”
Heard will be able to apply for release after serving half the sentence. As an offender “of particular concern”, he will be on licence for a further 12 months.
His name will appear on the sex offenders’ register and he will be barred from working with children and vulnerable adults.
The victim, who gave evidence by TV link from another country, said in her statement she had suffered from depression and anxiety.
“I put this solely down to what he did to me,” she said. “I feel this situation will never change.”