St Albans Pensioner Jailed For Abusing Girl

A St Albans pensioner who sexually abused a 7 year-old girl has been jailed for 4 years.

Frederick Newman, 73, also received an extended sentence of a further three years which means that when he is released he will be on licence and liable to be returned to prison until he is 80.

Sentencing him at St Albans crown court, Judge Andrew Bright QC told Newman that he regarded him as a "dangerous offender" who is "a menace to young children."

Newman, of Betty Whistle House, Holyrood Crescent, St Albans, appeared for sentence via a video link from Bedford prison. At an earlier hearing he admitted two charges of sexually assaulting a child aged under 13.

Prosecutor Edward Lewis said the alarm was raised last February when the girl suffered problems at school. She told an educational psychiatrist what had happened. Newman was arrested and told the police there had been a "misunderstanding."

Previous convictions

Mr Lewis said that in 1988 he had been convicted of two charges of indecent assault on a 14 year-old boy and in 1990 was convicted of charges of gross indecency against a child.

Defence barrister Jessica Sobey said when his wife learnt of the case against him she "ejected" Newman from their home and he had been sleeping rough until he was remanded in custody.

She said he was not a well man as he suffered from coronary heart disease and other medical complications.

Ms Sobey said Newman had been abused himself as a child and asked for credit for his guilty plea. On his release she said Newman wanted to be relocated to another area.

Judge Bright made a Sexual Offences Prevention Order banning Newman from having unsupervised contact with anyone aged under 16. He must register as a Sex Offender for life.