June 2007

Watercress Line volunteer assaulted girl

 

A CONVICTED paedophile who sexually assaulted a six-year-old girl after he was allowed to work with children on a Thomas the Tank Engine theme day, has been given an indeterminate sentence for public protection.

George Sully, 73, known as Ray, put his hand up the skirt of the youngster and touched her bottom at Hampshire’s Watercress Line last August.

The retired businessman from Four Marks had denied one count of sexual assault and said he could not remember touching the girl, but he was found guilty by a jury.

The girl from Surrey was with her mother, father and younger sister when some of the family went up on the James the Red Engine supervised by Sully, who was playing the part of a 1950s engine driver.

He then assaulted the girl but was seen by another woman and the girl’s mother.

Sully had been allowed to work as a volunteer without a Criminal Records Bureau check made on him despite having convictions for almost identical attacks stretching back 38 years.

The retired businessman from Four Marks had denied one count of sexual assault and said he could not remember touching the girl, but he was found guilty by a jury.

The Recorder of Winchester Michael Brodrick told Sully he will serve a minimum of nine months before he is considered for release.

He ordered him to sign the sex offenders’ register and disqualified him from working with children for life.

He also made a Sexual Offences Prevention Order for five years banning Sully from unsupervised contact with children under 16 and from paid, unpaid or voluntary work with children under 16 for five years.

If he breaches the order he could be sent to jail for a maximum of five years.

The court heard the girl has suffered nightmares and “night terrors” since the attack and often sleeps with her parents.

Sully never told the company running the Watercress Line, Mid-Hants Railway about his past and the company did not carry out a Criminal Records Bureau check on him.