April 2015

Man, 96, jailed for sexual assaults on two girls who were aged between 5 and 9 years old

Guernsey

A 96-year-old man has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for historical indecent assaults.

Gaston John Pinsard had already pleaded guilty to nine offences dating back to the 1950s and 1960s.

Guernsey’s Royal Court heard the two female victims were aged between 5 and 8 years old, and 5 and 9 years old when the assaults took place.

In sentencing, Judge Russell Finch said Pinsard’s age and health were taken into account.

He was given two 18-month sentences to run concurrently.

The court heard the offences took place on a number of occasions from 1951 to 1955 and 1964 to 1969.

His defence said Pinsard claimed he felt like a “filthy devil” and “didn’t want to hurt any children” and he ceased the abuse when he resolved “to stop this filthy habit”.

Pinsard was born in Jersey in 1919 and the court learned he suffered sexual, physical and emotional abuse at the Haut de la Garenne School for boys. His family later moved to Guernsey.

Pinsard was married with four children at the time of the offences. His wife has since passed away and his son accompanied him to court.

His defence asked the court to exercise extreme caution – suggesting it would be difficult for the prison to accommodate his needs and medication.

It concluded the 96 year old was no longer a risk to the community and questioned what a custodial sentence would achieve.

Mr Finch said the facts of the case were “distressing and unpleasant” but acknowledged it was “a difficult situation”.

He said a younger man would be looking at between seven and nine years incarceration but he was accounting for the risk of him becoming ill in prison and dying in jail.