Brentwood paedophile tried to make five-year-old touch him while he thought she was asleep
A paedophile who tried to make a five-year-old girl touch his penis after walking into her bedroom has been spared jail.
Ray Claydon, 54, of Mill Lane on the outskirts of Brentwood, was found guilty of one count of sexual activity with a child after being cleared of a string of other offences.
During his sentencing today (Friday, July 20), prosecuting lawyer Alan Compton outlined the facts of the case.
The court heard how Claydon entered the girl’s bedroom in the early hours of the morning and moved her hand towards his penis while she was in bed.
Luckily, the girl was able to snatch her hand away.
Mr Compton explained: “This matter is in relation to count four for which he was convicted by a jury in trial.
“Claydon entered the victim’s bedroom naked and encouraged her to touch his penis. She snatched her hand away and said there was not actual contact. He said there was but it was accidental contact.
“There was intention to get the victim to touch his naked genitalia.
“He walked into her bedroom, tried to get her to touch his penis when he thought she was asleep.”
The victim’s mother did not produce a victim impact statement, how the prosecuting lawyer did refer to a statement from the girl’s father.
Representing Claydon, Jamie Sawyer told the court: “It is a serious offence and does cross the custodial threshold but it is not the most serious matter and does not include penetrative activity.
“He has a previous conviction but it is not a similar matter and is very old.
“The court could either send him to custody for a brief period of time or adopt a more constructive approach.”
Judge Patricia Lynch QC interrupted his mitigating speech by saying: “The difficulty I have is that I cannot be satisfied that there is a prospect of rehabilitation and the seriousness of this case is not by virtue of the act itself or the attempt, it is the fact that it was a child and her take that she was being sexually abused. Those are the concerns which take this over the custody threshold even though the offence the jury convicted him of is one of the least serious.
“Any abuse of a child is a serious offence and a suspended sentence is offered where there is a prospect of rehabilitation.”
Mr Sawyer continued: “He continues to deny the offence but he would abide by any conditions, there is a reason to suspend.
“There are references from his daughters, people that have known him for a long time and have touched on a different side of his character.
“The court must consider the defendant’s background, the positive things in his character references and the jury’s verdict.
“A suspended sentence would send a clear reminder to him.”
During sentencing, Judge Lynch said Claydon had caused a large amount of pain and suffering to the victim and her father.
She told him: “You were acquitted of other serious allegations but I am bound by the jury’s verdict to sentence you solely on count four, which is sexual activity with a child.
“You went into the child’s bedroom in the early hours of the morning when she was in bed and you were naked. The complainant said you picked up her hand and that you intended to put her hand on your penis but she snatched it away and there was no physical contact.
“You, during the course of the interviews, said that her hand accidentally brushed the tip of your penis as you were trying to tuck her arm back under the bed covers.
“Any sexual activity with a child crosses the custodial threshold, any adult who indulges in any sort of sexual activity with a child knows full well they shouldn’t and faces the consequences.
“She was sure that she was being sexually assaulted.
“I have taken into account the character witnesses, not only from family members providing glowing reports but others who address the way he behaves or has behaved in the past with children.”
Passing sentence, Judge Lynch handed Claydon a six-months prison term, suspended for 12 months, adding: “The victim’s father will feel justice has not been done but my job is to apply the appropriate sentence taking everything into consideration and taking into consideration the victim’s suffering because she should understand the jury did believe her evidence in relation to this matter and she should feel she is protected.”
A sexual harm prevention order was also made to last ten years and Claydon will have to sign the sex offenders register.