June 2007

Paedophile jailed for eight years

A 60-YEAR-OLD paedophile who alienated a schoolgirl from her family and groomed her for sex has been jailed for eight years.

David Morgan, a former committee member at the California Social Club in Ipswich, was in his 50s when he befriended the girl who was then aged 11, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Over a four year period he bought her presents and told her that nobody loved her as much as him, said Samantha Leigh, prosecuting.

Morgan’s abuse of the girl had started with him kissing her before he progressed to touching her intimately and eventually having sex with her when she was 12.

Morgan, of Pearce Road, Ipswich admitted two offences of having sex with a 12-year-old girl and four offences of indecent assault.

Jailing him for eight years, Judge John Holt said an aggravating feature of the case was the defendant’s “persistent and planned” offending over a prolonged period of time.

Judge Holt imposed a three-year extended licence period after Morgan’s release from prison to allow him to complete a sex offender’s programme.

Morgan was also ordered to sign on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely and was disqualified from working with children.

Miss Leigh told the court that when the girl was 11 Morgan had invited her to have a slow dance with him at a disco and during the dance she recalled him having “wandering hands” and touching her bottom.

Morgan had later started alienating the girl from her family and had told her: “I’m the only one who loves you.

He had bought the girl gifts which became more and more expensive and if she wanted money she had started to ask him for it rather than her parents, said Miss Leigh.

After he started having sex with the girl Morgan had taken her to the family planning clinic so that she could go on the pill and he had told her to lie about her age.

Miss Leigh said the girl was confused about what was happening and had been told by Morgan that if he got into trouble it would break up his marriage and he wouldn’t see his son.

The girl later told police that she hadn’t wanted Morgan’s son to grow up without his father and she had decided to stay quiet.

The offences came to light when the defendant left the California Social Club and a love letter written by the girl to Morgan was found among his belongings.

Adam Budworth, for Morgan, said his client had no previous convictions and had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

He said Morgan regretted what he had done to the girl and through him wished to apologise to her.

Mr Budworth said there was no suggestion that the defendant had sexually abused anyone else.

He handed in a number of references from the defendant’s family and friends saying: “He isn’t all bad. He has done a lot of good in his life.”