Pensioner jailed for sexually abusing disabled woman

Preston Crown Court.
Preston Crown Court.
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A pensioner has been jailed for 16 months after sexually abusing a disabled woman at a hotel in Blackpool.

Arthur Procter, 78, preyed on the woman’s vulnerabilities over a period of two years.

What makes this so much worse is the extent to which you exploited her vulnerability to your own advantage

Judge Cornwall

The woman – who can not be identified for legal reasons – has a number of physical and learning difficulties.

But between May 2009 and April 2014, Preston Crown Court heard Procter groomed the woman then abused the trust she had placed in him for his own perverted means.

Procter, whose wife died in October 2010, abused the young woman at his home and took her on holiday to Blackpool, where he booked double rooms at two hotels in the resort and insisted she shared a bed with him.

“I couldn’t wait to get away from him”, the woman told the court.

Reading her victim impact statement to Judge Christopher Cornwall, the woman said: “I feel betrayed as he made me promise not to tell my closest person, my mum.

“In the end I found the courage to open up and tell her. I so wish I’d told someone sooner.”

Judge Cornwall, sentencing, said: “She is, by any reckoning, particularly vulnerable. When I say she is particularly vulnerable I say it for good reason.

“What makes this so much worse is the extent to which you exploited her vulnerability to your own advantage.

“Since you pleaded guilty you have expressed abhorrent views that she was some sort of sexual predator and she overcame your resistance.

“That is truly wounding and profoundly untrue. You seem to be almost indifferent to the consequences of your behaviour to her. It was all so obviously planned.

“It involved duplicity and deceit and it has obviously caused her such intense distress that she felt she had no other option but to bring it to the attention of her mother and bring you into the dock.

“She should not have to bear this burden.”

The judge accepted Procter was a man who had lived “a blameless life” until his 70s and said despite describing himself as a resilient man, the pensioner would find prison difficult.

He also made a sexual harm prevention order banning Procter, of Farrier Close, Blackburn, from having any direct or indirect contact with the woman and made him the subject of notification requirements for 10 years.