December 2011

Elderly paedophile is spared a prison term

AN 89-year-old man who sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl has been spared jail.

Dennis Perry, from Bewbush, was found guilty of the attack last month and was sentenced at Hove Crown Court on December 5.

He was given a six-month community order and forced to sign onto the Sex Offenders Register for five years.

Perry held his victim down on a bed, kissing and groping her for about 15 minutes during the attack last year.

The girl, who cannot be named, was pushed onto the bed despite her protests and Perry, of Coxcomb Walk, touched her on her bottom and breasts.

Sarah Lindop, defending, claimed Perry had accidentally fallen into the girl.

“There was no sexual intention,” she said, adding that it was “ludicrous” to believe such a frail man could be strong enough to hold the girl down.

But a jury found him guilty of the attack, having heard that he told the child it would be “our little secret”.

At the end of the trial, Judge Anthony Niblett described the girl as a “brave little soul” after hearing she “sobbed her heart out” following the attack.