May 2008

Rapist jailed for 12 years

A sexual predator has been jailed for abusing young girls more than 40 years after starting his perverted campaign.

David Greensmith, 62, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for rapes and indecent assaults dating back as far as 1961.

The former social worker repeatedly targeted his victims, who were as young as seven, in an “almost continuous code of conduct”.

Judge Rupert Overbury, sentencing at Basildon Crown Court today, was convinced Greensmith was “predatory” and remained a threat to youngsters.

He told Greensmith: “All these incidents of sexual abuse have involved serious breaches of trust and involved small young girls.

“You were always some years older than your victims and you took every opportunity available to you to satisfy your own perverted desires.

“You have shown no remorse whatsoever.”

He added: “You will always pose some danger, especially to young girls.”

Greensmith, of Tower Street, Brightlingsea, had denied all the charges against him.

But a jury found him guilty of raping a schoolgirl and indecently assaulting two others.

The convictions on five rapes, seven indecent assaults and two attempted rapes were all based on sample charges.

During the trial, the court heard Greensmith started raping his first victim while he was just a teenager.

He threatened her so she would not reveal the “dirty, filthy secret” and the abuse eventually plunged her into clinical depression.

“You took every opportunity to sexually abuse her,” said Judge Overbury.

“What you did to her over those years was vile and reprehensible.

“The horrors that she must have endured as a little girl are almost unimaginable.”

Greensmith continued to abuse girls during drunken binges at his house in Wivenhoe, where he lived in the early 1980s.

One witness described his home as being like “Disneyland”.

Judge Overbury said Greensmith’s prison term would have been longer if he had been sentenced as a younger man in the 1960s or 1980s.

Stephen Rose, mitigating, said the defendant would have a hard time in jail because he was frail and unwell.

He suffers heart problems and has hemochromatosis – a disease which causes joint pain and means he has to walk with a stick.

“At the moment it’s a very bleak picture for him,” said Mr Rose.

Greensmith was put on the sex offenders’ register for life and ordered not to have any direct contact with children under 16 until further notice.


Judge Overbury praised the police investigation which resulted in Greensmith’s convictions.

It took three years and was run by Det Con Nicky Miles, who heads the child abuse investigation unit at Brentwood.

Judge Overbury said DC Miles was to be formally commended for being very professional on such a hard case.

“In my opinion, she showed the highest qualities of a police officer,” he added.

“Essex Police should be proud of her.”

Speaking after the case, DC Miles said it had been difficult finding evidence and tracing witnesses so long after the assaults.

She added: “I’m elated with the result and really pleased for the victims.

“It has been very hard for all of them to talk about what has happened, let alone give evidence in court.”