December 2002

Child rapist gets life sentence

A Norfolk man with a history of paedophile convictions has been sentenced to life for raping a nine-year-old boy.

Harold Smith, 61, of Bergh Apton near Norwich, had denied the four counts of rape and one of indecent assault but was found guilty in October.

The court heard he had a series of convictions dating back to 1958 for sex offences against children.

Smith, who admitted assaulting the officers who tried to arrest him in June, refused to come out of his cell to be sentenced at Norwich Crown Court.

Abuse filmed

Judge David Mellor said: “With his record I am not prepared to put members of the custody team at risk to bring him up.”

He said Smith had committed “grave offences” which qualified for a mandatory life sentence.

The jury had heard that Smith had filmed himself abusing the boy, and had given him sweets and toys to buy his silence.

The court was told his past convictions included attempting to kidnap a boy at knifepoint, and taking an 11-year-old into some woods and sexually assaulting him.

But he had never been on the sex offenders’ register as his previous offences were committed before it was introduced in 1997.