September 2013

Man jailed for ‘painful, humiliating and never forgotten’ sexual abuse


A man who systematically sexually abused three children in “painful, humiliating and never forgotten” attacks, has been jailed for 11 years.

Frank Simmons began the abusing the girl and two boys, when he was aged just 14 and continued for more than 10 years.

The 54-year-old of Hawthorn, Northway in Tewkesbury was found guilty of 11 charges of indecency, five of indecent assault and two charges of buggery at Gloucester Crown Court earlier this year. During the trial, he was cleared of another count of a serious sex assault.

The court was told Simmons threatened to suffocate the children with a pillow if they resisted his advances.

He even paid one of the victims 50p to keep quiet about the abuse.

There were tears in the public gallery as Judge William Hart handed down the jail sentence today and said he would spend at least half of it in custody.

He told Simmons: “It was predatory, sequential and it was an abuse of trust.

“It was over a very long period and it had the gravest effect on them (the victims).

“It was persistent. It was painful and humiliating and never forgotten.

“You issued threats, you used bribery and what you did to these three children has had an inconceivable effect on their lives.”

Defending Angus Robertson said: “The defendant, when these offences started, was a young person and perhaps unusually so, given the allegations in the case.

“He did not start the abuse when he was an adult, but when he was between the ages of 14 to 16.

“The offending started when the defendant was physically and psychologically immature.

“He is not a person that has continued to commit sexual crime during the rest of his life.

“The defendant has lost everything – he has lost his job, his home and his wife.”

He told Judge Hart, Simmons had worked in the same job at a machinery company since he was 18 and had been a “valuable and useful” member of society.

He left that employment last week.

Mr Robertson said a character reference described him as “the perfect gentleman, helping where and when he can”.

Gloucester Crown Court heard he forced the children to perform sexual acts on him and each other during the attacks.

Judge Hart said one of the victims had spoken of the abuse years earlier, but it was “brushed aside as ludicrous”.

Simmons will have to sign the sexual offenders register.

August 2013

Paedophile threatened to suffocate victims with a pillow

A PAEDOPHILE has been convicted of persistently sexually abusing a girl and two boys – threatening to suffocate them with a pillow if they resisted.

Frank Simmons, 54, of Northway, was found guilty of assaulting the children, aged eight or nine at the time, and committing a serious sexual assault on one of the victims.

The offences took place between 1975 and 1985.

Simmons had denied 11 charges of indecency, five of indecent assault and three of more serious sex assaults.

At Gloucester Crown Court on Tuesday he was found guilty on 18 counts and not guilty on one of the most serious charges.

Judge William Hart told him: “I will not sentence you today, but be under no illusion – you will receive a substantial prison sentence. You will go to prison for a long time.”

Addressing the jury, the judge added: “Cases of this nature are among the most difficult to try, often due to the historic nature of them.

“The defendant in the dock during this trial is almost certainly a different person now to the one who committed these offences many years ago.”

Kerry Barker, prosecuting, had told the court that it was not until last year that one of the victims reported the assaults.

He said Simmons “would threaten to suffocate” the victims with a pillow “if they did not co-operate”.

The court was told that Simmons gave one of the victims 50p to keep quiet about the abuse.

Mr Barker also explained to the jury that society was better informed about child abuse now than it was when the offences took place.

He said: “Many children do not disclose what happened to them for years because they are frightened, because they fear they will not be believed and because of the effect it would have on others.”

Simmons will be sentenced on September 18.