June 2010

Man, 86, jailed for child abuse dating back 20 years

An 86-year-old man has been jailed for a series of indecent assaults on a young girl, which date back more than 20 years.

Godfrey Doyle, of Hanworth Road, Hounslow, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison after admitting four counts of indecent assault on a child at Isleworth Crown Court.

His crimes date back to 1988 when his victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was eight.

The final assault happened in 1992, when the girl was 11.

Prosecuting, Ruxana Nasser said Doyle told the girl he also had pornographic magazines.

Doyle, who was in his mid-60s at the time, carried out several sexual acts with the girl, the court heard.

The assaults first came to light when his victim confided in her boyfriend when she was 15. However, Ms Nasser said the girl’s family did not become aware until 2006, when her father found a diary she had written in.

In mitigation, defence barrister Michael McAlinden said Doyle had lived an otherwise “blameless life” and “bitterly regrets” his actions.

He told the court: “This was an aberration in this man’s life. It’s a matter of extreme regret that this happened at all.”

Mr McAlinden said the assaults led Doyle to try to commit suicide in 2006, and again this year, when he swallowed 180 tablets.

He added any jail term handed down “would effectively be a death sentence for him”.

But Judge Martin Edmunds said Doyle’s actions “fall within the most serious count of indecent assaults”.

He said a statement written by the victim made it clear the offences had a “calamitous effect” on her life.

Judge Edmunds told Doyle he would serve half of his two-and-a-half year sentence.

Doyle was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for life and banned from having unsupervised contact with any child under 15.