September 2012

Judge cuts sentence of sex-assault man – Not a paedophile by definition but a risk to all vulnerable females

A MAN who abused a dying couple’s daughter has had his 15-year jail term cut after a judge decided that his original sentence had been too long.

Barry Oldfield, 72, was branded a parent’s worst nightmare when he was jailed at Exeter Crown Court last week.

Self-employed recycler Oldfield offered to help look after the vulnerable Down’s Syndrome sufferer while her parents were being treated for terminal cancer but abused their trust by sexually assaulting the 29-year-old.

His vulnerable victim had the mental ability of a four-year-old and he bullied her into silence, threatening to lock her up or gag her.

Oldfield, of Dart Park, South Molton, denied four counts of sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder unable to refuse because of her condition.

He was found guilty at Exeter Crown Court last week and jailed for 15 years by Recorder Andrew Oldland, QC.

Now, he has reduced the sentence to 13 years. He said: “I reflected further over the weekend and have decided the sentence was too long.

“The reason is that I do not think I took into account adequately the relatively few occasions the offending occurred. The guidelines must incorporate cases where abuse happens many times, and therefore I have decided to reduce the sentence.”

Six days earlier he had told Oldfield: “You took advantage of the parents’ ill-health in the most cynical way and while they were sleeping or resting you sexually abused their profoundly disabled daughter. Any parent of a profoundly disabled child worries about what will happen to them when they are not there to protect them. Foremost among their nightmares is the sexual abuse of their child.

“What you did was the embodiment of that nightmare. It was beneath contempt. The threats you made are an aggravating feature as is the severity of the breach of trust of both the parents and the woman.”