July 2008


A MAN who sexually assaulted a young girl in west Cumbria has been sent to prison for two-and-a-half years and banned from ever having unsupervised contact with children.

Philip Joyce, 60, had previously been found guilty of three charges of sexual activity with the girl.

When he appeared to be sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court yesterday he was still denying that he had done anything wrong.

The court heard that after abusing the girl Joyce told her not to tell anyone.

But she decided to tell her mother – and, according to the judge, in doing so possibly saved herself from more serious abuse.

In mitigation defence barrister Greg Hoare said there was no suggestion that Joyce had ever molested any other child.

He said he was held in high regard by the people who knew him, and the offences were very much out of character.

Judge Peter Hughes QC told Joyce he had been convicted on “compelling” evidence.

Joyce, who now lives in Farnworth, Bolton, was ordered to register as a sex offender for life and disqualified from ever living or working with children.