Febuary 2009 – 

A 69-year-old paedophile from Abingdon who raped and molested a young girl has had his life sentence overturned at the Appeal Court in London. Lord Justice Rix said Laud Lawrence, of Wordsworth Road, should instead serve 18 years in prison for his crimes.

July 2008

‘Predatory’ pervert imprisoned for life

A “PREDATORY paedophile” was jailed for life yesterday after a judge ruled that he posed a danger to young girls.

Pensioner Laud Lawrence, who is already serving a 10-year sentence for child sex abuse offences, was convicted of two charges of raping a young Bournemouth girl and molesting her from the age of nine.

He admitted four charges of indecent assault and four counts of indecency with a child.

Prosecuting at Bournemouth Crown Court, Miss Mary Aspinall-Miles described Lawrence, 68, from Oxford, as “a sexual predator of the worst sort” who had targeted girls aged between nine and 12.

In a statement read to the court, his victim said: “I hate him and I hate what he has done to me. He sexually abused me when I was most vulnerable; a small, defenceless child.

“I get flashbacks, I have dreams about what he has done to me. I find it difficult to sleep and have been to the doctor many times. I’ve been prescribed drugs and anti-depressants; this did not help. The problem was I was sexually abused.”

Referring to her “dirty secret”, the victim, now 22 and a mother of one, said she had tried to take her life twice and was seeing a psychologist.

Miss Aspinall-Miles said: “He stole her childhood.”

In Lawrence’s defence, the court heard that he still denied the rape charges but was “extremely remorseful”.

He had undergone a sex offenders’ programme in prison and loneliness had “underpinned” the offences.

Judge Roger Jarvis told Lawrence that his abuse had robbed his victim of her innocence for ever.

“I have to decide whether you are a predatory paedophile. Your victim has been seriously damaged. I’m satisfied that you are dangerous; you have a dangerous disposition towards young females.”

Banning Lawrence from working with children, Judge Jarvis said he must register as a sex offender for life and would not be considered for release for at least nine years.

Afterwards, DC Bryan Colley from Dorset Police Child Abuse Investigation Team said: “I cannot praise this victim enough for coming forward.

“Without her courage, a dangerous and predatory paedophile would have gone unpunished.

“This sentence sends out a very clear message to other paedophiles, how seriously the police and the courts take this sort of offending.”

Lawrence’s victim told the Daily Echo: “I’m shocked but very pleased with the sentence. It has given me closure. I hope he dies in prison.

“Sex abuse is a difficult subject but I’d encourage others who have been abused to make a stand. It will never go away but just speaking about what has happened really helps.”