March 2013

Child abuse shame of Thomas Egenton, a Red Cross worker from Motspur Park

A former Red Cross worker who rescued commuters from a fatal underground fire has been jailed for sexually abusing a young child.

Thomas Egenton, 62, was sentenced to 16 months in prison for one count of sexual activity with a child, at a hearing at Kingston Crown Court on Friday.

Egenton, of Marina Avenue, Motspur Park, was found guilty following a trial in January.

The court heard how, in January last year, Egenton inappropriately touched a young child while she was in bed.

The family found out when the child mentioned the incident months later.

Jeffrey Yearwood, defending Egenton, said his client was previously a man of good character, who had worked for years as an electrician before ill health forced him into semi-retirement in 2009.

A trained first aider, Egenton had previously worked for St John Ambulance and the Red Cross, and played a part in rescuing people from the King’s Cross tube station fire of 1989.

Mr Yearwood also said that a DVD interview of the child Egenton abused, which was shown to the jury, did not suggest she had been affected by the ordeal.

He said: “There is every opportunity that this will, in fact, hopefully be put behind her.”

His comments drew gasps from the victim’s family in the public gallery.

But Judge Susan Tapping said: “I can only hope that eventually she will have these effects fade in her memory and she can return to her life as normal.

“That is impossible to predict.”

Addressing Egenton, Judge Tapping said: “You have no insight whatsoever into the serious nature you have been convicted of or the effect it will have on a child of this very young age.”

Egenton was placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years, and was forbidden from living in the same house as a female under the age of 16 for 10 years.

He was also forbidden from having unsupervised contact with a female under 16 without the consent of the child’s parents, for 10 years.