January 2011

Man, 71, jailed for ‘systematic’ abuse of children

A 71-year-old man has been jailed for eight years for the ‘systematic’ sexual abuse of children.

James Whittaker, of Stone Lodge, Bishopsteignton, near Teignmouth, Devon, admitted 13 serious sexual offences against children over a period of more than three decades.

His offences included the attempted rape of a child under the age of 16 and six counts of indecently assaulting children. The judge told him the sentence would have been 12 years had he not admitted his crimes.

Judge Paul Darlow heard details of the case last Friday but adjourned sentence until yesterday in order to consider sentence. The court was told Whittaker had been involved in the local community through voluntary associations and was a man of previous good character.

Judge Darlow said: “The 13 counts on the indictment represent the systematic abuse of children over a period of 32 years.”