John Smith – Guildford
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Judge gives paedophile light sentence ‘to spare the prison service work and expense’
A paedophile who carried out sex attacks on three generations of schoolgirls has been given a lighter jail sentence – to spare the prison service “work and expense”.
John Smith, 74, subjected one victim to a prolonged campaign of abuse and then turned on her daughter, raping the child when she was just nine.
But when he was sentenced at Guildford Crown Court after a three-week trial, he was told there would be a “substantial reduction” in the jail term.
Judge Michael Addison told Smith first stated it was because of Smith’s age and health, but went on: “I take into account, quite apart from anything else, the difficulty and expense it would cause the prison service who will be looking after you”.
Former quarry worker Smith, who is now in an electronic wheelchair, repeatedly molested his first victim, along with another girl when they were aged seven to 14 in the 1970s.
Alexia Durran, prosecuting, told the jury that Smith “abused his position of trust in a prolonged and calculated way” to repeatedly target the youngsters, who can not be named for legal reasons.
He systematically abused one victim from the age of seven between 1972 and 1976, including one attack in a workman’s hut.
She said: “It took some time for her to tell anybody about what had happened to her, and she did not tell anyone until she told a friend in the summer of 2005”.
Smith also targeted another schoolgirl, also from the age of seven, as she played with a pal – by touching her bottom and chest before progressing to more serious assaults between 1981 and 1985.
But the victims did not report Smith to the police – and when one of them later became a mother he continued the attacks on her young daughter.
Then in November 2005 the youngster revealed Smith’s “little secret” to her mum.
Miss Duran said: “(The mother) no doubt appreciated the significance of this and did not ask her anything else”.
The woman reported Smith to the police and the girl was interviewed by officers in February 2006.
She said that the defendant had raped and carried out sex acts on her between February and December 2000.
Miss Durran said: “She found it very difficult to speak about what had happened to her”.
Smith was later arrested by police and denied the accusations.
Miss Durran said that the victims had no reason to lie about the attacks “some of which happened a long time ago”.
She added: “The prosecution say they give a compelling and consistent evidence of a long pattern of abuse by this defendant on those who had the misfortune to come near him between those tender ages of seven and 14”.
Smith was eventually convicted of 13 sexual offences, including the rape of a child under the age of 13, seven counts of indecent assault and four counts of indecency with a child.
David Barnes, defending, said that Smith suffers from poor physical and mental health, adding: “There is no doubt a period spent in prison would be more difficult for him to cope with than somebody of good health”.
Judge Michael Addison told Smith that he had made a “substantial reduction” in his sentence because of his age and health, adding: “I take into account, quite apart from anything else, the difficulty and expense it would cause the prison service who will be looking after you”.
He said: “This was a deliberate course of conduct over many years and caused great distress to those girls over the years.
“You contested the case and accused each of them of telling lies, and I therefore can not give you any credit for a plea of guilty.
“These offences are so serious that only a custodial sentence can be justified, the reason of course being that this sort of conduct must be discouraged.
“You will have to be indefinitely on the Sex Offender’s register, and you will be disqualified from working with children”.
Smith had a previous conviction dating from 1954 for indecently assaulting a five-year-old girl – but escaped with just a £20 fine.