September 2020

Justice finally catches up with paedophile jailed for abusing two girls

A paedophile who once told police he wasn’t disgusted with child sexual abuse images because “the children were clearly enjoying it” has now been jailed for the sexual abuse of two girls more than 50 years ago.

John Gilbert-Heighton, 84, touched the two victims in the 1960s and 1970s but they remained silent and burdened by his actions until he was convicted for having sick child abuse images in 2017.

Gilbert-Heighton, of Trethannas Gardens in Praze-an-Beeble, appeared at Truro Crown Court for sentence having been convicted of eight counts of indecent assault following a recent trial.

Throughout the trial the jury heard how Gilbert-Heighton touched one of the girls between her legs and the other upon her private parts. Both were aged under 10 years.

Both victims are said to have for years been burdened with feelings of shock, embarrassment and shame.

In 2017 Gilbert-Heighton was given a suspended sentence for having more than 700 indecent images of children. He is said to have told police that he wasn’t disgusted by the material as the victims depicted were clearly enjoying it.

Sentencing Gilbert-Heighton, Judge Simon Carr said: “As is so often the case the main emotion of both of the victims as children and as adults was confusion.

“What makes it so haunting is that in evidence, one of the victims said your remarks stuck with her for 50 years. You told her that her mother would be very upset if she told her what happened and that she’d be sent away.

“Both of the victims never felt able to deal with it but when they saw your conviction for child abuse images they knew they had to come forward to protect others at risk.

January 2017

Praze artist told police he wasn’t ashamed of child abuse pics because ‘children were enjoying it’

A paedophile caught with child sexual abuse images on his computer told police he wasn’t disgusted with the material because “the children were clearly enjoying it”.

John Gilbert-Heighton, from Trethannas Gardens, Praze, appeared at Truro Crown Court on Friday to be sentenced after pleading guilty to four counts of possessing indecent images of children

The court heard how artist Gilbert-Heighton, 80, had inappropriate images of children ranging from seven-years-old to 12.

He was found to possess more than 500 images and videos – some of which the category A, the most serious type which showed young children being raped

When arrested Gilbert-Heighton, who has no previous convictions, denied having any sexual interest in children and said he was only interested in the images for the purposes of his artwork.

Further forensic examination revealed more images, that had previously been deleted, and internet searches for indecent images.

Whilst being quizzed by police officers they asked him if he was disgusted, to which he replied “why would I be disgusted? The children were clearly enjoying it”.

Sentencing Gilbert-Heighton, Recorder Ignatius Hughes QC said: “The images involved children which were perverted and filthy. Any notion that they weren’t is wrong-headed.

“The fright of potential consequences of the crimes both to yourself and your family would have been significant and the suspended sentence imposed will have two effects.

“You will receive individual sessions for men who do what you have done and the sentence will hang over your head so you know that if you do it again you’ll go straight to prison.”

Gilbert-Heighton was handed a 12 month prison sentence suspended for two years, issued a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and told to attend a rehab activity requirement.