‘Silent stranger in the corner’ sexually abused young girl
A pensioner described as “a silent stranger in the corner of the room” is now behind bars after a jury found him guilty of covertly abusing a little girl.
Terry Noton, 73, denied any wrongdoing, but was convicted of three counts of sexually assaulting a child girl under the age of 13.
The indecent touching happened after he groomed the youngster, Leicester Crown Court was told.
Noton told the victim, when she was aged between 10 and 11 years old: “It’s our little secret.”
Judge Martin Hurst described the defendant as having been like a “silent stranger in the corner of the room,” when he perpetrated the offences at a premises in Leicester.
He told Noton: “You were convicted on majority 10 – 2 verdicts of three counts of sexually assaulting a child under 13.”
He said the offending involved inappropriately “tickling or scratching” the girl’s back and lifting her top before sometimes going under the waistband with his fingers, touching the top of her bottom.
The judge said: “The most serious count was when she was left alone in a room with you.”
The victim said the defendant had tickled her on that occasion, before she was “flipped over” and he put his hand under clothing onto an intimate area.
Judge Hurst said: “You were looking after her on that day.
“It amounts to a breach of trust.”
He said he accepted the defendant had “worked honestly all your life” and that the most serious offence was a single incident.
Victoria Rose, prosecuting, said the touching happened after defendant flattered the child with compliments.
After indecently touching her he told the girl: “It’s our little secret.”
Mitigating before sentence, defence counsel Kathryn Hirst, said Noton was of previous good character.
She said: “He has erred from a life of otherwise hard work and retirement.”
Noton, formerly of Downing Drive, Leicester, was sentenced to a three-and-a-half year jail term.
He was placed on both an indefinite restraining order banning contact with the victim and a sexual harm prevention order.
When released, he will have to sign onto a sex offender register for life.
The defendant was acquitted by the jury of two further allegations of sexual activity with a child, relating to a second schoolgirl, which Noton had also pleaded not guilty to.