October 2015

87-year-old former ambulance driver jailed after confessing to molesting young boy

A 87-year-old former ambulance driver has been jailed for three years after confessing to molesting a young boy.

William Golding, of Farnham Close, Gillingham, put fear into the victim by telling him he would be sent to prison if his crimes were revealed.

When questioned the boy said it was a secret and he could not tell.

Maidstone Crown Court heard the pensioner, who served in the Royal Navy, exposed himself to the boy and touched him indecently.

Prosector Danny Moore said Golding revealed more information about his sordid behaviour to a police custody nurse.

“He said he knew it was wrong but didn’t know why he was doing it,” said Mr Moore.

The victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, continued to have counselling and was making progress.

Golding, who is of previous impeccable character, admitted two offences of sexual assault of a child under 13.

Tom Stern, defending, said the father-of-three who was married for 47 years grew up in Kent and made significant contribution in his working life.

After leaving the Royal Navy and Merchant Navy he worked as an ambulance driver. He was employed by the Port of London Authority for 20 years surveying the riverbed.

“If we were not standing in a criminal court that would speak volumes,” said Mr Stern. “He struggles to understand why this happened.

“There has been full acknowledgement of his actions and acts that place him before the court. There are ramifications with his marriage.”

Judge Philip Statman told Golding: “There is no doubt in my mind certainly what you did to him can be seen to have been behaviour which was wholly unacceptable and would have caused him in his mind to wonder exactly what was happening and the reason for it.

“You were the adult. He was a child. There was grooming conduct by you. There was fear in his mind of what might happen if he told on you.”

The judge said Golding’s conduct had single-handedly destroyed the life of his wife and family who did not for one moment think the sexual proclivity was part and parcel of his nature.

“In my mind you have a very long way to go to understand your offending,” he added. “I accept within your confession there is remorse.”

Judge Statman said he hoped Golding would be able to have sex offender treatment either in custody or when released.

Golding’s name will appear on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.