August 2009

Pervert jailed 39 years after crime

A violent drunk who sexually abused girls as young as seven has been jailed almost 40 years later.

Paedophile Graham Singlehurst, aged 59, was jailed for three-and-a-half years for sexual offences against children dating back to 1970.

Matthew Lowe, prosecuting, said: “The prosecution case is that over a relatively protracted period, he has sexually abused three girls.

“The offending dates from late 1970 through to the early 1990s. Although not continuous, there were some gaps in his offending.”

The court heard how he preyed on children, aged between seven and 14 years, subjecting them to sexual assaults or exposing himself while performing sex acts upon them and himself.

His victims, whose identities are protected, keep quiet for years until one of them confided in another, the court heard.

Mr Lowe added: “One girl thought she was the only person being sexually abused and on one occasion, she said that when she did not want to do what he wanted, he said she was his favourite and would then go and sleep with another girl. He knew she would not say ‘No’ after that. He told her it would be their secret.”

Singlehurst, of Newcombe Road, Spencer, pleaded guilty to eight indecent assaults and acts of gross indecency, prior to his trial last month.

He was jailed at Northampton Crown Court yesterday, placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life, banned from ever working with children and made the subject of a 10-year sexual offences prevention order which prohibits unsupervised contact with anyone aged under 16.

Judge Michael Fowler said Singlehurst was responsible for “a persistent course of conduct” of offences committed before a change in the law increased the maximum sentence from two to 10 years.

He said: “You committed the grossest breach of trust. It’s clear from what’s been said in this case that what you did was against a background of fear and you have caused the greatest amount of suffering.

“It seems to me they were effectively prisoners subjected to regular abuse. It’s obvious you have a problem with drink but that does not diminish what you did.”

Singlehurst had to be arrested on the day he was due to face a trial at the start of June after being hospitalised for taking tablets with alcohol and suspected tuberculosis.

Steven Evans, mitigating, said: “He did admit these offences and did not find it easy to do so. There was some prevarication.”