October 2007

Paedophile jailed for abuse of girl

A PAEDOPHILE who sexually assaulted a five-year-old girl more than 20 years ago has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.

Andrew Pettitt, 51, indecently touched the girl over a period of three years when she was aged between five and eight, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

The offences only came to light recently after the victim, who is now in her 20s, decided to make a complaint to the police.

Godfried Duah, prosecuting, said that in addition to sexually assaulting the victim Pettitt had also recorded indecent video footage of her in his bedroom.

When police searched Pettitt’s home they seized his computer and discovered indecent images of children.

Pettitt, of Brooksfield, Bildeston, admitted four offences of indecent assault, four offences of making indecent images of children and one offence of possessing indecent images of children.

Jailing him for three-and-a-half years Judge John Devaux said he had read a four-page statement from the victim of the indecent assaults which described the effect they had had on her.

“Many of her problems are a result of the abuse she suffered at your hands,” said the judge.

Pettitt was also ordered to sign on the sex offenders’register indefinitely, was disqualified from working with children and made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order.

Marc Brown, for Pettitt, said the indecent pictures were pseudo-images and no direct harm had been caused to anyone.

He said the video footage filmed by Pettitt of the victim of the indecent assaults had been destroyed many years ago and had never been shown to anyone else.

Mr Brown said that Pettitt had been left disabled following a motorcycle accident in which he lost a leg.

He said Pettitt accepted he had an unhealthy interest in children and was keen to receive help for his problem.

Mr Brown said that as a result of publicity Pettitt had been ostracised by his local community and his car had been vandalised. “He will never be able to go back to the village where he lived,” said Mr Brown.