A 72-YEAR-OLD paedophile has been jailed for sexually assaulting a child.
Richard Waller, of Centaur Street, Buckland, Portsmouth, admitted sexually assaulting the girl aged under 13 between January and April.
The abuse came to light after the mother of the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, noticed a change and questioned her daughter.
Waller was arrested but Portsmouth Crown Court heard police initially thought he had no previous convictions, despite a search being conducted.
It was later discovered he has five previous recorded offences – including two for indecently assaulting a young boy in 1982.
Hampshire Constabulary has since reviewed its procedures for checking for previous convictions. A force spokesman said: ‘The Police National Computer (PNC) is a comprehensive database that encompasses all but the very earliest records on PNC.
‘In some cases an individual may have previous convictions that pre-date the PNC. In those instances the police request a copy of the record held on microfiche. This can result in a delay.
‘The nature of this case has prompted Hampshire Constabulary to review our procedures in such instances with a view to minimising any delay in receiving and converting historical records.’
Judge Richard Price sentenced Waller to four years in prison with an extended licence period of eight years.
He was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for life and given a Sexual Offences Prevention Order banning him from any contact with children.
PC Debbie Ward said: ‘Despite her age, the victim was very clear throughout the process about what happened to her.
‘We worked hard to ensure she and her family were supported throughout the investigation and trial.
‘We are very grateful that she was brave enough to be able to come forward and provide an account. This has been a lengthy ordeal for her and her family and we are pleased that Richard Waller was brought to justice.’