March 2011

Paedophile jailed for abusing girl

A PAEDOPHILE who abused a girl from the age of three has been jailed for eight years.

Michael Stirling, aged 47, admitted five counts of indecent assault against his victim, who went to the police more than 15 years after the abuse stopped after gaining the courage from counselling sessions.

Stirling, formerly of Park View, Deane, who now lives in Queen’s Road, Doncaster, was sentenced at Bolton Crown Court yesterday.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, his victim — who cannot be identified for legal reasons — said: “He had a really good way of making me feel guilty. He said voices in his head were telling him to do it. I felt sorry for him and thought he couldn’t help it.

He said he would stop but didn’t.

“He said he would go to prison and said social services would take me away. I was petrified of being taken away and worried what would happen to me if people found out in school.”

Geoffrey Southcote-Want, prosecuting, said the abuse lasted for about eight years until the girl was 11 years old.

Katherine Goodard, defending, said: “He has struggled more and more not just with his own mental health, but the knowledge of the offences he committed.”

She said he was a respected man in the Doncaster community.

Stirling was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register.