June 2021

Uckfield paedophile spared jail for groping girl

A paedophile groped a ten-year-old girl to satisfy his own sick perverted thoughts

Charles Durdle abused the girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, in Sussex.

The 23-year-old had a fascination with the “taboo” but breached the trust of the girl’s parents, a court heard.

Teachers noticed how the girl had gone from being happy and sociable to withdrawn and upset.

She eventually admitted to her mother what had been happening, and she is now “not the girl she once was”.

Durdle admitted his sick crimes and at Lewes Crown Court Her Honour Judge Janet Waddicor imposed a ten-month suspended sentence as the defendant is undergoing rehabilitation for sex offenders.

Rowan Jenkins, prosecuting, said the multiple incidents of sexual touching took place between May to August 2019.

He said Durdle’s behaviour was a serious breach of trust.

The girl’s mother said: “I will never forget the haunting words that came from my daughter. It fills me with chills.

“He has ripped our whole lives apart.

“I am eaten up with guilt that as a mother I was not there for her during these horrific acts.

“We feel trapped and want to wake up from this nightmare. We will all find it extremely hard to trust somebody.

“My innocent child’s life has changed from being happy to now being guarded and looking inward. She is not the girl she once was.”

Mr Jenkins said Durdle had denied having a wider sexual interest in children and shocked himself at how far he went to explore his “morbid curiosity” with the “taboo”.

Judge Waddicor said Durdle’s behaviour was “truly shocking”, in particular how he deceived those related to the girl.

The judge said the pervert had “betrayed” the trust of the girl and her family, and said similar cases can often lead to girls not being believed which can cause rifts and further harm.

“You are rightly disgusted by what you have done,” the judge said, and said that because he has taken responsibility and confessed to his behaviour, he is capable of being rehabilitated.

Durdle, of Queens Approach, Uckfield, was given a ten-month suspended sentence and was ordered to complete 30 rehabilitation sessions.

He must also complete the Horizon sex offender programme, and will be on the sex offenders register for ten years.

The court also imposed a ten year sexual harm prevention order to restrict Durdle’s access to children.