December 2011


A PENSIONER who sexually abused two children has been jailed for six years.

A judge told Robert Buchanan he believed the harm he had done to his two victims was “beyond calculation”.

“You have cast a very dark shadow over their childhoods,” he told Buchanan.

Judge Christopher Cornwall, handing down the jail term at Preston Crown Court yesterday, also told the 74-year-old that he had despoiled their innocence for his own sexual gratification.

The judge said Buchanan was six times older than the girl and boy and the case had many aggravating features.

He said: “I believe there is an absence of any real insight into the enormity of what you have done.

“I believe you have a sexual interest in children which you have thus far chosen not to admit.

“It was nothing to do with the children, but everything to do with your perverted attitude towards them.

“I agree you continue to present a risk of harm to children.”

The court had heard Buchanan’s abuse included making them take part in “naked wrestling”, where he would compere bouts and award points.

He had taken images of them without clothes on and even forced the girl to watch an indecent video. The judge said Buchanan’s behaviour had included the “most grotesque form of behaviour”.

Preston Crown Court heard how his crimes came to light when the girl broke down at school during a sex education class which caused her to have flashbacks.

The defendant, of Rother Green, Barrow had pleaded guilty to one charge of sexual activity with a child, one of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, plus five offences of making indecent images of children and one of taking such images.

His barrister Mr Frank Nance had said Buchanan had faced up to his wrongdoing and had been in tears about what he did. His difficulty was facing up to why he had behaved in that way.

Judge Cornwall also told Buchanan at the sentencing hearing that when a child was sexually abused by an adult, the “predator” took hold of the child’s entire life and put that life in jeopardy.

He said: “The sentence of the court must reflect the community’s utter abhorrence, unequivocal condemnation of the sexual abuse of children and your specific abuse in particular.”

Buchanan will be on the sex offender’s register for the rest of his life and subject to a sexual offences prevention order, including a condition not to have unsupervised contact with anyone under 16.