March 2010

Pensioner jailed for sex abuse of toddler

A pensioner was caught in the act of sexually abusing a toddler by the child’s distraught mother, a court heard.

Ian Lang, aged 66, tried to pretend nothing had happened but the youngster’s mother then spotted his flies were undone.

Northampton Crown Court heard Lang first maintained his innocence when confronted, appearing “nervous and flustered” but after being questioned again, he admitted he had exposed himself to the child on three occasions.

He was yesterday jailed for nine months, and placed on the sex offenders’register for seven years.

John Lloyd-Jones, prosecuting, said the child, who cannot be named for legal reasons, used an expression while speaking to one of her parents in April last year, which suggested “she knew more than a child of her age should”.

“At first, these remarks were dismissed as just the type of silly thing a child could come out with. Matters, however, moved on apace on August 21,” he said.

The court heard Lang had been found alone with the child and was asked directly if he had exposed himself, which he denied.

Mr Lloyd-Jones said when he was confronted again later that he admitted what he had done.

Lang, of Abbey Court, St James, Northampton, who had never offended before, pleaded guilty to sexual activity with a child. Sentencing, Deputy District Judge Matthew Mott said: “What is clearly baffling to me is, why did you do this?

“It is one of the most puzzling incidents I have come across with your background and age. It’s totally baffling but that does not make it any the less serious. Although, I doubt you will ever do anything like this again.

“What’s required is a sentence which provides just desserts for what you did, which was a betrayal.

“People who do this sort of thing to little girls must know they will go into custody unless there is the most exceptional circumstances.”

Felicity Gerry, mitigating, said Lang had decided to move away from the area once his property lease ran out, and once released from prison.

She urged the judge to pass a three-year community order so he could receive treatment, adding: “He might not cope well with a custodial sentence and would be more vulnerable than other prisoners.”