October 2018

Family of victim slam sentence

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A paedophile pensioner who sexually assaulted a little girl should remain in prison until he dies, according to a member of her family who branded his jail sentence ‘pathetic’.

Michael Blake, of Callowside, Ewyas Harold, pulled the girl’s trousers off, touched her in sexual manner and performed a sex act upon her.

The pensioner accepted in police interview it was not the first time he had sexually assaulted a child, admitting he had ‘fondled’ and molested at least six other young children.

The 76-year-old admitted one count of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and three sexual assaults against a child under 13 between January 1 and July 31 this year.

He was jailed at Worcester Crown Court last Friday.

All the offences took place against the same eight year old girl.

The girl had been so traumatised by what happened no victim impact statement was sought as police argued ‘she had been through enough’.

However, in an interview she had described Blake as ‘gross, mean and yuck’.

Giles Nelson, prosecuting, said: “He has accepted a sexual attraction to children since his last teenage years.”

Mr Nelson argued there was a degree of planning and the attack could be viewed as ‘a sustained incident’ involving both ‘grooming behaviour’ and ‘deliberate isolation of the victim’.

Mr Nelson said a four year prison sentence was a starting point within the sentencing guidelines with a range of between three and seven years.

Judge Nicholas Cole said he accepted that Blake had not deliberately targeted the victim but that he had encouraged her, buying her an ice cream.

He said although he did not have a victim personal statement he would sentence Blake on the basis that the offences would have had ‘a lasting impact’ upon the victim and upon her family.

He said: “You will, in essence, have robbed her of her innocence.”

The judge added: “I do find your culpability is raised given the grooming behaviour I have already outlined.

“It was of great concern that you admitted to a probation officer you had sexual feelings towards children since your late teens and had previously fondled approximately six girls. I’m not sentencing you for those matters.”

The judge said, taking into account the lack of previous convictions, the criteria for dangerousness were not met. He said he therefore had to pass a determinate sentence.

A sexual harm prevention order was made restricting the defendant’s contact with children. The judge jailed him for 40 months.

After the hearing a member of the victim’s family, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said: “It’s a pathetic sentence.

“He should have got life, regardless of his age. If he did not get caught he would be doing it to someone else.

“It will ruin her life, especially when she gets older.

“They should never let him out for what he has done to a child. I hope he dies in there.”