October 2010

PAEDOPHILE WHO FLED TO CUMBRIA FAILS TO GET PRISON TERM CUT

A fugitive paedophile who fled to Longtown north of Carlisle after assuming a false identity yesterday failed to have his jail term cut by the Appeal Court.

Ronald Squirrell, 71, was jailed for five years after a court heard that he had systematically abused two schoolgirls, molesting them during the 1990s when he lived in Redcar in the north east.

He was convicted of eight counts of indecent assault in February. His sentence included a six-month term for failing to surrender to bail.

The fugitive was arrested three years ago in London after his victims finally reported him.

But he failed to attend court in May 2007 and went on the run, living on a campsite in Longtown where he assumed the name Jack Moss, evading capture for 15 months.

Mr Justice Butterfield, sitting in London’s Appeal Court with Lord Justice Hooper and Mr Justice Kenneth Parker, said Squirrell “regularly sexually abused” one of the girls, and groped the other after luring her to his home. Both girls were in their early teens at the time.

Squirrell challenged the safety of his convictions, but Mr Justice Butterfield told him: “There is no merit in any of the grounds advanced”.