May 2002

Child sexual abuse magistrate jailed

A former Midland magistrate who sexually abused two young children has been jailed for 18 months at Birmingham Crown Court. 

David Garwood (65), of Highcliffe Road, Tamworth, Staffordshire, who admitted four charges of indecent assault, was also told he would be put on the sex offenders register for ten years. 

In passing sentence on Garwood, who became a magistrate in 1977 and sat in Tamworth, Mr Justice Crane told him: ‘I accept that this court deals with cases of abuse of children which in physical terms are more serious than this. 

‘But any offence against a child of this kind is obviously serious as you well know. It is likely to be damaging to the child.’ 

John Price, prosecuting, said the offences occurred in May last year and came to light when one of the children told an adult. 

Garwood had also shown a pornographic magazine to one of the victims and a number of similar magazines were found at his home. 

David Crigman QC, defending, said: ‘The allegations have been broadcast within the community and he has lived within an atmosphere of absolute misery and disgrace. As a lay magistrate he has brought disgrace to the honour of that position and to his own name.’ 

Following his arrest, he said, he had been suspended and as a result of his guilty pleas had been dismissed and would never sit as a magistrate again