October 2006

Man, 83, is jailed for sex abuse

AN 83-YEAR-OLD man who sexually abused two young girls more than 20 years ago has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.

A judge told Harry Brandwood, who uses a walking stick, that he had stolen their childhood.

“What should have been a happy normal carefree time of their life was one of confusion, turmoil, fear and degradation,” said Judge Denis Clark at Liverpool Crown Court.

“You showed those little girls no mercy.

“You used and abused them for your own sexual gratification.

“You completely and utterly wrecked their lives. I hope the fact you are being punished will help them move forward,” said Judge Clark.

Judge Clark, who ordered Brandwood, formerly of Clarence Street, Leigh, to sign on the Sex Offenders’Register for life, told him that the sentences would have been longer but for his age.

Brandwood had pleaded guilty to five offences of indecently assaulting one girl and two acts of gross indecency on the other girl.

David Pickup, prosecuting, told the court that the first victim, who is now in her 30s, began to be abused by Brandwood when she was aged about four years old, and this continued for about six years.

At the time Brandwood was a key holder of a factory and sometimes he took her there and abused her. He used to threaten the frightened child.

On one occasion he threatened to put her head under a steam press if she did not do as she was told, said Mr Pickup.

Brandwood started to abuse the other girl, who is now in her 20s, when she was about five and this continued until she was nine.

When interviewed Brandwood admitted abusing the older girl but denied threatening her and said he had not intended to hurt either of them.

Brian McKenna, defending, said Brandwood had the support of his family and two of his sons were present in court.

He spent several months in hospital after overdosing on his medication in February and while there his wife died.

Mr McKenna said Brandwood had since been living in an old folks’ home and there were issues about his mental health Brandwood had denied a further 19 indecent asssaults on the girls and these were ordered to lie on the file.