July 2010

Pensioner spared jail for flashing at young girl during shopping trip

A paedophile pensioner who exposed himself to a 12-year-old girl while shopping in Northampton has been spared a prison sentence.

Gordon Halford, aged 67, was in Wilkinsons in the Weston Favell Centre on March 6 when he exposed himself to a young girl.

He ran off with the girl’s mother in pursuit and was only detained when she managed to hold on to him with help of a member of the public.

Neil Rose, prosecuting, said: “At one stage, the girl was unaccompanied with her mother in an another aisle and she recalls seeing the defendant coming towards her with a pencil and paper in either hand.

“At this point, she looked down and saw that his jacket was open and his private parts were out of his trousers. She shut her eyes and looked away and told her mother what he had done.”

The mother, who cannot be named to protect her daughter’s identity, confronted Halford, who ran off but was cornered by her and a passer-by in the car park. He noticed that Halford’s trouser zip was undone and he was not wearing underwear.

Halford, of Colleyweston Road, Rectory Farm, admitted indecent exposure and was sentenced to six-months, suspended for two years, and must attend probation supervision as well as community sex offender treatment.

He was also banned from ever working with children.

The court heard how he was jailed for seven-and-a-half years in February 2002 for sexual offences against children and has other similar convictions from the 1990s, as well as ones for downloading and distributing indecent images of children.

Judge Charles Wide QC said: “This is a far less serious offence but it was very distressing.”