August 2017

Pensioner handed suspended sentence for child sex abuse after admitting it was ‘plainly wrong’

A pensioner was excused immediate jail for child abuse after stopping when he realised it was “plainly wrong.”

Recorder Jason Macadam told a court that was an important factor in his decision to impose a two year prison term, suspended for two years, on John Maskell.

Sitting at Nottingham Crown Court, he ordered a lifetime ban on the 66-year-old from having unsupervised contact with girls under 16.

The court heard the offences took place just under a decade ago.

Maskell admitted three sexual assaults on a child.

Simon Ash, prosecuting, said the girl told nobody about the incidents until she was treated for mental health problems around eight years later.

“She didn’t mention what was happening to anyone for various reasons. She didn’t understand it, she didn’t want to get into trouble.

“She was wary of the defendant who she found intimidating. When she got older, she began to understand what the defendant had done,” said Mr Ash.

When questioned, Maskell said “he could not remember it”. Later he described it as “one mistake”, added Mr Ash.

As a result of the abuse, the girl had nightmares and it had affected her relationships with men. She also suffers from anxiety.

At one point, it was described as “clowning around” by Maskell of Lawrence Avenue, Eastwood. He also suggested the girl “was perhaps attention seeking”.

But Maskell now accepted his behaviour had been “shameful”. If he commits an offence in the next two years, the recorder warned that he could be sent straight to prison.