October 2015

Former serviceman jailed for sexually abusing young female child

smith1

A FORMER RAF serviceman has been jailed for four years for sexually abusing a girl less than a fifth of his age.

The victim, who was aged between ten and 13 at the time of the offences, told York Crown Court that Ronald Smith, now 81, threatened to kill himself if she told anyone about what was happening.

She kept quiet for years until she was a young woman and heard other people referring to him as “respectable”. Then she went to the police.

“It made me angry because he wasn’t respectable,” she claimed.

In July, a jury convicted Smith of two counts of causing a child to engage in sexual activity by getting her to cane his bottom.

They failed to return verdicts on 12 more charges after nine hours in retirement. The prosecution decided not to seek a retrial on them and formal not guilty verdicts were entered.

Smith, of Hazel Garth, off Stockton Lane, York, denied four charges of indecent assault, two of indecency with a child and eight of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

In addition to passing the four-year prison sentence at Leeds Crown Court, Judge Tom Bayliss made a sexual harm prevention order to last indefinitely. Smith will be on the sex offenders’ register for the rest of his life.

The jury heard the victim’s family knew Smith and would from time to time visit him.

She claimed she told a school friend and her mother about the abuse when she was 13 and that she refused to go to Smith’s home after that.

Some years later, she confronted him at his house when other people were present. She told the jury he said ‘I will admit things were done that shouldn’t have been done.’

Giving evidence, Smith claimed he was scared that she would start throwing things when she made the allegations to him at his home.

“I shouted ‘OK I have done it’. I just wanted them out,” he said.

He denied behaving improperly towards her in any way.

“I was shocked about the allegations,” he alleged. “I couldn’t believe it. I am not that type of person. I am too shy.”

He admitted the victim caned him, but denied that he got sexual pleasure from it. He claimed that the victim, not he, suggested the caning. She said he was the instigator.

The victim alleged Smith had abused her from the age of four in different ways. She claimed: “He used to ask me how I was enjoying it. I was too young to know, to understand why I would, why I would enjoy it.”

Smith claimed she made up the sexual abuse allegations in 2013 because she wanted to get compensation to pay for some expensive dentistry work she had just had done.