March 2011

Jail term for sex offender

A 71-YEAR-OLD man has been jailed for three and a half years for the sexual abuse of a girl in the Launceston area between 2000 and 2004, when she was aged between 7 and 11.

Derek Palmer, who offended while living in the Launceston area, admitted 11 charges of indecent assault and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity at Truro Crown Court on Wednesday.

He was told by Mr Justice Butterfield that his pleas of guilty stood him in good stead as people now knew the victim was telling the truth about the horrid things he had done to her.

Defence counsel Andrew Oldland stressed that Palmer, who is in failing health and living in a residential home, was of previous good character.

“He is very ashamed of his behaviour, which he regrets,” he said.

The Judge imposed a sexual offences prevention order banning Palmer from any contact with a child under 16 unless supervised and told him that he must sign the Sexual Offenders’ Register indefinitely.