January 2019

Pervert jailed after abusing schoolgirl

A child abuser who attempted to take his own life on the day his trial was due to start has been jailed for 12 years for a catalogue of offences against a schoolgirl.

Derek Beardsley (81) refused to leave his cell or appear on video link at Sheffield Crown Court on Wednesday for his sentencing.

Judge Sarah Wright said: “The only other way he could have been brought here is by force and at his age it’s not appropriate.”

He had initially denied sexually assaulting a child in Rotherham and failed to attend court on Monday for his trial, after being on conditional bail.

Prosecutor Mr Richard Thyne said this was because he had “unsuccessfully tried to take his own life”.

Beardsley, of Hunster Close, Cantley, was found by police and remanded into custody, where he admitted the offence.

He had previously admitted five counts of sexual assault and one count of taking indecent photographs of a child, all against the same victim.

Judge Wright described Beardsleys behaviour as “disgraceful” and said he had not shown “a morsel of remorse” for his actions.

Beardsley committed his crimes in Rotherham in November 2017.

On one occasion, he drove his victim to a secluded field and sexually abused her. He later bought her sweets before abusing her again.

“She told him to stop and he would say: ‘I don’t care’,” said Mr Thyne.

“She [the victim] said [when interviewed] she knew it was wrong, what he had been doing, and consequently she told her mum,” he said.

When he was arrested and interviewed by police, Beardsley claimed the victim was a liar and answered no comment to all other questions.

But police discovered a video on Beardsley’s mobile phone of him sexually abusing the victim, Mr Thyne said, along with DNA evidence on the girl’s underwear.

Beardsley later sent a letter to the girl’s father claiming he was the victim and made accusations against her – a letter which Judge Wright described as “grotesque”.

Sentencing, Judge Wright said: “Over a year later, [the victim] is still able to articulate the ongoing effects of the abuse on her.

“She hears noises in the night and has bad dreams about what happened.

“She has asked her mother if they can move home, such is the effect upon her.

“There was also grooming behaviour.”

Beardsley was ordered to sign the Sex Offender’s Register for life.