April 2021

Chorley paedophile jailed after trying to measure toddler’s feet

Terrence Wilding

A paedophile who tried to gain access to a toddler, claiming he wanted to measure her feet for slippers, has been jailed.

Terrence Wilding, 75, was banned from having any unsupervised contact with children after he was jailed for a serious sexual assault on a six-year-old child in 2015.

But Preston Crown Court heard in the summer of 2019 he breached the order and tried to gain access to a little girl.

He gave the girl’s parents chocolate and offered the slippers as a gift. When her parents told him the slippers were too big, Wilding returned and asked to measure the youngster’s feet.

Sentencing Wilding to 36 weeks in prison, the Honorary Recorder of Preston Judge Robert Altham, described it as “a sinister sort of offence”.

He said: “He was seeking, as a convicted sex offender, to gain permission to handle a young child.”

On another occasion in 2019, Wilding gave the family jewellery which he said the girl could use for dressing up, the court heard.

However the parents became aware of rumours about Wilding’s past and contacted the police.

He was arrested and pleaded guilty to breach of an sexual harm prevention order (SHPO).

Judge Altham said although Wilding was never able to have unsupervised contact with the girl, the offence was serious because of his persistence in attempting to see her.

He also said it was reasonable to infer a parent would be distressed by a convicted paedophile trying to gain access to handle their child.

The court heard Wilding, of Church Hill, Whittle-le-Woods, has one previous conviction.

In 2015, he committed a serious sexual assault after befriending a child’s grandparent and inviting the girl to his car to collect a gift.

He is not allowed any contact with children under 16 unless their parents are aware of his conviction and it has been approved by Social Services.

Judge Altham said: “This defendant presents a risk to the public. This is a case that is so serious only a sentence of custody can be justified.”