May 2018

Lydney shopkeeper jailed after sexually assaulting schoolgirl

LYDNEY shopkeeper Richard Ryder, 68, has been jailed for four years after being convicted of sexually assaulting a young girl in his store on three occasions.

Jurors at Gloucester Crown Court found Ryder guilty of three sexual assault charges but cleared of three more serious similar charges which alleged multiple assaults rather than single incidents.

Ryder, of Wynols Close, Broadwell, had denied molesting the girl in any way when she was in his Number Nine shop in Lydney on Saturday mornings between November 2015 and October 2016. The girl was aged between nine and ten at the time.

Jailing him for a total of four years and placing him on the sex offender register for life, Judge Ian Lawrie QC told him: “It is alarming for this court that at 68-years of age you chose to indulge in this type of sexual behaviour.

“This was a gross betrayal of your responsibility to her in your shop. She is a troubled youngster with a number of matters in her life which clearly cause her problems and difficulties, although they are not of her making and you would not have been aware of them.”

Ryder claimed the girl had made up her allegations against him after he accused her of stealing from his till.

The girl spoke to a pastoral officer at her school and although she would not say out loud what she was alleging she wrote down, “He touches me up.”