June 2021

Derbyshire paedophile expected to have ‘extremely difficult’ time in prison

A brave child abuse victim has told how a Derbyshire paedophile “groomed and moulded” her into the person he wanted her to be.

The woman, whose identity is protected by law, told a court how paedophile Neil Thompson “saw me as an easy target” and “took pleasure in the power” he had over her.

The now 72-year-old pervert befriended the victim when she was under the age of consent and quickly began sexually assaulting her – beginning in a stable.

And even more than 15 years later he believes the victim was “a willing participant” despite hearing the heartbreaking statement she read to the court.

Jailing him for three years and nine months, Judge Nirmal Shant QC said: “You have blighted the life of the complainant and no sentence I pass today will take that away.

“The law is there to protect young children because that is what she was – a child.

“Your pre-sentence report suggests that you still believe she was a willing participant and that somehow you have no culpability.

“I reiterate, she was a child, you have very little victim empathy.

“You were someone who manipulated her and dominated her and I hope you listened carefully to the victim impact statement she made.”

Kevin Jones, prosecuting, said the offending started at a stable more than 15 years ago.

He said Thompson befriended the victim and very soon started to sexually abuse her.

Mr Jones outlined a number of different occasions where the defendant touched her sexually, first over and then later under clothing.

He said: “He repeatedly told her when she turned 16 he would leave his wife.”

The hearing was told it was only years later the now married woman found the courage to come forward and report the abuse to the police.

A lengthy and moving video of her reading out her own victim impact statement was played to Doncaster Crown Court.

In it she said: “I was on the fragile bridge that spans childhood and adulthood when you sexually abused me.

“Your predatory behaviour resulted in the loss of my autonomy.

“What I did not see was that you saw (me as) an easy target, you groomed and moulded me into a person you wanted me to be.

“You took pleasure in the power you had over me, the gnarly guilt that sits in the pit of my stomach is down to you.”

Thompson, of Birchwood Lane, Somercotes, pleaded guilty to eight counts of sexual activity with a child.