October 2001

Band man jailed for sex attacks

Pensioner Colin Prudence has been jailed for nine years for raping a young girl who was a member of a junior jazz band in Bulwell.

The 65-year-old was involved in running the marching band in the early 1980s when the offence took place.

He also sexually abused three other young girls at that time. Now in their late 20s, they were at Nottingham Crown Court on Tuesday to see Prudence, of Riseborough Walk, sentenced.

Judge Richard Benson told him: You raped a little girl who was aged eight or nine.

You took your chance with a jury, you have shown no remorse, contrition or regret. You have caused distress and anxiety to four young girls, two of whom became visibly upset at re-living these terrible experiences.

The judge said Prudence had brought shame on his family but had only been interested in himself and satisfying his own needs.

The judge said the abuse of one of the girls, aged seven or eight, had been as bad a case of indecent assault as there could be.

Prudence had simulated sexual intercourse with her.

He received a concurrent two years for the offence the maximum sentence in force at the time. The maximum has since been increased to ten years.

The jury took five-and-a-half hours in all, spread over two days, to convict Prudence of all eight counts he faced. The rape verdict was by an 11-to-one majority.

During the trial, the court heard the girls used to visit his home. Prudence and his wife were involved in running the band.

During the trial, the court heard the girls used to visit his home. Prudence and his wife were involved in running the band.

The rape victim said Prudence shut the living-room door and sat next to her on the settee. When she got up and tried to leave, he grabbed her head, pushed it against the door and forced himself on her, she said.

She screamed and he let go. She never went back to his house but did not tell her mother what had happened.

Last November, she heard Prudence was being investigated and she decided to make a statement to the police.

The court heard Prudence had no previous convictions. He had coronary disease but a medical report said it had not been possible to establish that he had angina. During his trial, the court sat for only three hours a day.

Judge Benson said: Someone more cynical than me might say the defendant has been milking his position.

The judge said he had reduced the sentence because of Prudence s age, infirmity and previous good character. On his release, he will have to sign on the sex offenders register for the rest of his life.