March 2009

Paedophile’s sentence criticised

A PAEDOPHILE who abused two children for more than a decade is likely to spend less than two years in jail because of when the attacks happened.

One of 70-year-old Dennis Nelson’s victims, who were aged between four and six when the assaults began, has branded his sentence as “disgusting”.

Nelson, of Birds Lane, Lowestoft, was given eight jail terms totalling 15 years at Ipswich Crown Court.

However, they will run concurrently, with the longest being three-and-a-half years for indecent assault. Nelson is likely to be freed after serving half of that term.

Judge David Goodin explained to the court that as Nelson had committed the offences before October 1, 1997, he would have to abide by the sentencing parameters in place at the time.

The bespectacled Nelson kept his head bowed throughout his sentencing for the indecent assault and gross indecency offences, which he admitted at an earlier hearing.

After the 1997 legal watershed the maximum sentence for gross indecency with a child was increased to ten years from two. The maximum jail term for indecent assault on a child also rose to ten years from five.

Judge Goodin told Nelson: “You are being sentenced under the sentencing regime when you committed these appalling offences.

“The insidious effect of that abuse was to make it very soon – all too soon, it is plain – part of the nightmare of their respective childhoods.

“You robbed them of their childhood and inflicted upon them in adult lives disadvantages and disabilities in maintaining relationships of their own.”

Following the hearing one of Nelson’s victims, who was in court, described the sentences as “disgusting”.

Asked what her feelings were now towards the paedophile, she said: “I feel anger and hate towards him.”

Earlier, Michael Crimp, prosecuting, had told the court two further sex assault charges would lay on file.

Mr Crimp said Nelson was arrested when the case was reported to police last year.

The court heard that one of the victims was aged five or six when the abuse began, while the other was aged four or five.

On one occasion while Nelson was rubbing himself against one of the victims, she cried.

Mr Crimp said: “But that did nothing to stop the sustained abuse he described to her as their little secret.”

The other victim once told Nelson she would tell someone about what he was doing. However he replied that no one would believe her.

Richard Potts, mitigating, said his client had begun to realise the enormity of what had happened.

He admitted: “It’s an appalling catalogue of abuse going on over a period of time.”

Mr Potts said after Nelson’s arrest he had tried to take his own life through a combination of paracetmol and hanging himself.