July 2013

Rugeley man jailed for abusing young girls

A RUGELEY man who systematically abused two girls, each as young as seven years old, has been jailed for 30 months.

John Freeman groped the victims in incidents separated by over 20 years, Stafford crown court heard.

Mr Philip Beardmore, prosecuting, said the girls described “systematic and continued abuse at the hands of this defendant.”

In personal statements, the girls, both now adults, described the impact Freeman’s behaviour has had on them. One still struggles with any sexual intimacy and has had suicidal thoughts. The other feels that her adult life has been ruined.

Freeman, aged 69, of Bower Lane, Rugeley admitted two charges of indecent assault, one against each of the girls.

Judge Simon Tonking said the charges did not represent single incidents, rather a number “not measured in twos and threes but on numerous occasions which cannot be given a precise number.”

He told Freeman that one of his victims “has lived with the memory of what you did to her. She complained….when she was 19, no-one would believe her. She knew it was true and so did you.

“These were unquestionably indecent sexual assaults. To this day each of them suffers from what you did all those years ago.”

Along with the jail sentence, Freeman was also banned from working with children and vulnerable adults for life.

Mr Robin Howat, defending, said: “He has expressed sorrow for the hurt and pain he has caused. He is coming to terms with it, day by day. His major concern now is for his wife – they have been together for 41 years.”

Mr Howat said his client’s good character has been used against him by the complainants and the Crown, accusing him of leading a ‘double life’.

Judge Tonking repsonded: “I am not punishing him for leading a double life, I am punishing him for committing these offences.”