April 2021

Paedophile whose abuse left child victim with lifelong anxiety is sent to prison

A paedophile has been jailed for asking a child to touch his penis with her foot, a court has heard.

Terence James Burnett, 62, had denied inciting a girl under the age of 14 to commit an act of gross indecency but was convicted by a jury following a trial. He was found not guilty of three other counts of the same charge.

On Friday Cardiff Crown Court heard how Burnett, of Glanffornwg, Wildmill, Bridgend, had been performing a sex act when he asked his victim to touch his penis.

“You asked her to touch your penis – she was scared,” Judge Christopher Vosper QC said. “She remembers you told her if she touched it with her foot it would be less scary for her. That’s what she did.”

During an statement read in court the adult victim, who has automatic lifelong anonymity, said she now suffers mental health issues as a result of the incident which took place when she was a child.

She said: “I have low self-esteem and have low confidence. This can change whether or not I am suffering from an anxiety attack.

“I feel like I am always waiting for something bad to happen or to be punished. I struggle to sleep.

“I suffer with really bad nightmares which are so bad they feel real at the time. I often have flashbacks to what happened as a child.”

The statement, read by prosecutor Ieuan Bennet, added: “I felt ashamed of what he did to me and I struggled to admit what he did to me as I didn’t want people to think badly of me and judge me.

“I am a resilient person and have tried over the years to get on with my life and not let the past get to me.”

In total it was heard Burnett has six previous convictions for 38 offences including theft, shoplifting, criminal damage, and a series of trademark offences.

Burnett was handed an 18-month jail sentence of which he’ll serve up to half in custody before being released on licence. He was also placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years and disqualified from working with children and vulnerable adults.

“Any other sentence would simply not be appropriate,” Judge Vosper added.