80-year-old paedophile jailed

Harold Simmons, 80, of Dawnay Road, Ribbleton, Preston, admitted sex offences against a young girl

Harold Simmons, 80, of Dawnay Road, Ribbleton, Preston, admitted sex offences against a young girl

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A disgraced pensioner has been jailed for three years for a string of historic sex attacks on a little girl in the 1990s.

Harold Simmons, 80, of Dawnay Road, Ribbleton, Preston, had originally denied offences against the youngster, who was aged between six and nine, but later entered guilty pleas to eight counts of indecent assault.

Sentencing him at Preston Crown Court, Judge Pamela Badley said: “The sexual offences that you have accepted relate to a very little girl, she was aged six when you started touching her. She was not to know what was right and wrong, because you were the adult.

“There is undoubtedly a heavy blame that attaches to you, Harold Simmons. You would tickle her tummy then touch her.

“This was disgusting sexual behaviour towards a young child.”

Simmons, walking with the aid of a stick, needed to hold the wall of the dock to sit down. Prosecuting, Paul Cummings said: “The charges date from 1999 to 2003 and all of those counts relate to the same person. These are specimen charges.

“The woman made a complaint to police in July 2014 and a full interview was performed.

“She was visibly upset when explaining to the officer what had happened to her. It’s clear this was a very distressing time for the young child and something she had lived with until she was able to report it.”

Defending, Gerald Doran said: “He accepts he’s guilty and accepts he will be sentenced on the basis of that and no longer stands by what he previously said. It’s right it ought to be acknowledged he has avoided a trial and the necessity for his victim to give evidence. He’s now 80. He has no previous convictions. Your honour might have detected he is in poor health.

“He was anxious you saw some evidence of that. He has lost all contact with his family bar his niece.”