Albert Whinnett – Dunstable
Councillor jailed for sex abuse
A former Bedfordshire council leader has been jailed for 18 months for indecently assaulting two girls.
Former Conservative councillor Albert Whinnett, 73, was chairman of South Bedfordshire District Council in 1984.
Judge Ronald Moss told him had he been younger and in better health the sentence would have been four or five years.
Whinnet, of Englands Lane, Dunstable, will have to register as a sex offender for 10 years.
The judge said: “This case has given me an overwhelming feeling of sadness.
“Sadness for the victims, who will be affected forever, and also sadness for you, an elderly man of exemplary character, but that does not count for a great deal when dealing with sexual offences of this kind.”
During the trial at Luton Crown Court, the jury was told the former councillor indecently assaulted two girls.
Ten charges of indecent assault related to one girl who is now 19, the other nine related to a girl who is now 17.
The jury heard that the former councillor went to a “den” the girls had made and found pornographic magazines.
“The defendant explained to them in detail what was contained in the pictures.”
Whinnet was found guilty in November 2001 of 19 charges of indecent assault committed between 1991 and 1997.
He denied all the charges.
When he was arrested by the police in April he told them: “I have not interfered with them”.
His barrister Lewis Power said: “He is still adamant of his innocence in these matters.
“His health is bound to suffer in prison. A sentence of a number of years would be the equivalent of a life sentence to him.”