April 2018

‘Predatory paedophile’ jailed for seven years

A ‘PREDATORY paedophile’ from Chard has been jailed for seven years after admitting a string of sexual assaults on a young girl and boy.

William Palmer, of Dwelly Close, appeared in the dock at Taunton Crown Court for sentencing after he admitted 12 charges of sexually assaulting a girl under the age of 13 and one of sexually assaulting a boy under the age of 13.

Prosecuting, Phillip Warren said Palmer abused the girl on a number of occasions and frequently put his hand down her trousers and top without any warning.

The court heard Palmer was subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order at the time.

On one occasion, Mr Warren said, Palmer got the girl to sit on his lap, cuddled her and started to put his hands down her trousers. The girl managed to get away and headed to the toilet.

However, when she came out, Palmer was waiting for her and put his hands down her trousers and touched her for two or three minutes.

On another occasion, the girl was wearing a crop top. Palmer put his hands down her trousers and up her top and said: “Did you wear that specially for me?”

The prosecution read out extracts from victim impact statements and said Palmer’s actions have had a detrimental effect on both children.

Mr Warren said the young boy has been struggling with mental health issues since the abuse and said ‘everything is getting to him’.

“He used to be fun lad but not anymore,” he said. “He has taken to smoking cigarettes and is unhappy most of the time.”

Mr Warren said the young girl has suffered from nightmares since the abuse and has been having behavioural issues at school.

Sentencing Palmer, Judge David Ticehurst said it was ‘abundantly clear’ he has an interest in young children.

“You are a predatory paedophile. You represent such a risk that you are such a dangerous offender,” Judge Ticehurst said.

“The impact your abuse, as detailed in the victim impact statements, shows the damage it has caused to two young children.

“You should be thoroughly ashamed and disgusted with your behaviour.”

Judge Ticehurst sentenced Palmer to seven years in prison and three years on license.

He asked Mr Warren to prepare a draft Sexual Harm Prevention Order which Mr Mason will have to approve before it can be enforced.