October 2021

Predator from Teignmouth jailed for abuse of two girls

A sexual predator who left two different girls with lifelong psychological damage has been jailed for five years.

Alan Mills molested the first victim in the 1990s and the second when she was at a sleepover at his home in Teignmouth in the early 2000s.

The first victim was spared a more serious assault because Mills’s wife came into the room and ordered him to stop and go to bed.

The second girl was saved from a more serious sexual assault by Mills’s labrador dog, which intervened to stop him opening her sleeping bag.

Mills climbed into bed with the first girl when she was aged about ten and staying the night at his former home in Shropshire.

A judge at Exeter Crown Court praised her courage after she read out an impact statement in which she said the abuse had condemned her to a life sentence of mental torment.

Mills was able to live a normal working life for decades because he was only prosecuted after the first victim called an NSPCC helpline in 2017.

The two victims did not know each other at all, but the second went to the police after learning that Mills was being investigated.

Mills, aged 54, of Upper Hermosa Rd, Teignmouth, denied indecent assault on the first girl and indecent assault and indecency with the second. 

He was found guilty at the end of a four-day trial last month and jailed by Recorder Miss Kate Brunner, QC, today.

She put him on the Sex Offenders Register and made a ten-year sexual harm prevention order which will prevent unsupervised contact with female children after his released.

She told him: ”You abused two young girls who were under your roof and you should have been protecting them. Instead, you sexually assaulted both for your own gratification.

“The first was was absolutely terrified by your assault and said it felt like it lasted for an eternity. I have heard her victim personal statement read with great dignity.

“She described what you did to her as a life sentence. What you did had a profound effect on her.

“The other victim described a tug of war with her clinging onto her sleeping bag to stop you taking it off and assaulting her in other ways.

“It must have been so confusing and terrifying for a young girl to have a drunk man attacking her in the dark in a strange house. The effect on her has been significant.

During the trial, Mr Peter Coombe, prosecuting, said the first offence happened when Mills was living in Dawley, Shropshire.

He had young children and the victim, who was aged about ten, babysat for them and sometimes slept in one of the children’s rooms instead of going home.

Mills came home drunk and climbed into bed with the girl naked and started rubbing his penis against her thigh and bottom.

He was interrupted by his wife, who told him he was drunk and ordered him back to bed. The girl was so shocked she got up and walked home. She never stayed over at his house again.

She told various people during her life but only made a formal complaint after calling an NSPCC helpline in late 2017.

Mr Coombe said the second offence occurred when the girl stayed the night in his house in Teignmouth. She was 13 or 14 at the time.

She was sleeping in the living room when he sexually assaulted her twice as she slept in a downstairs living room.

She woke up to find him masturbating over her as she lay in a sleeping bag on the floor. He left the room and she moved to sleep on a sofa but he returned a few minutes later.

This time he groped her and tried to open the sleeping bag but was prevented from doing so by his black labrador dog which got in between them.

Mr Coombe said: “She says she was hanging onto the top of the sleeping bag for dear life. A curious detail is that the family dog, a black Labrador, was in the room and got in the way. He eventually gave up and left.”