February 2008

Predatory paedophile locked up indefinitely

A PENSIONER with a history of sex crimes against children has been sentenced to an indefinite jail term for abusing an eight-year-old girl.

Kenneth Kearsley, 68, of Brookfield Court, Crewe was already on the Sex Offenders’ Register when he preyed on the girl last year.

He had been jailed for four years in 2000 for four counts of indecently assaulting a child, and had two other child abuse convictions from the 1970s.

At Chester Crown Court on Friday, the court heard how Kearsley took advantage of the child, sexually assaulting her twice, engaging in sexual activity in front of her three times, and showing her explicit images.

Prosecuting, Peter Hussey QC told the court that when confronted about what he had done, Kearsley, who on January 9 pleaded guilty to the seven charges, begged for forgiveness.

“He expressed remorse and a hope that the matter would not be reported to the police because he would go to jail straight away. He was arrested soon after.”

Mr Hussey added since his release from his last prison term, Kearsley had undergone an operation to suppress his urges, but had still been capable of abusing the girl.

Defending, Gareth Robinson added: “He expressed remorse and shame for what he did, and hopes that young girl will be able to put the experience behind her and come through unscathed. Of course, he has lost everything.”

Judge David Hale told Kearsley: “She was a happy, innocent child and you could not resist abusing her, which you did repeatedly.”

He added: “The only appropriate sentence given that you have committed serious offences in the past is an indeterminate sentence for pubic protection. Others will decide when you are fit to be released, if ever.”

Kearsley must serve a minimum four years before parole.