Febuary 2012

Child abuser is spared jail and told probation order would help him

A PERVERT who abused a nine-year-old girl was spared jail – and told probation officers would help him “grapple with his demons”.

Recorder Maureen Baker imposed a three-year order on Eric Shaw and ordered him to attend a sex offenders’ group work programme, warning that it would be tougher than jail.

Shaw, 57, formerly of Aviemore Way, Sinfin, pleaded guilty to two counts of engaging a child in sexual activity and one of sexual assault at Derby Crown Court.

The recorder said the public might feel she should have used her power to jail him.

But she told Shaw: “I think this will be tougher.

“I take the view it will do greater good and make sure you do not behave like this to any other child in future.”

She said the “serious offences involved the misery it brings to children” and said he could expect prison immediately if he broke the terms of the order or if he committed another offence.

She said a prison term could not have been long enough for him to have treatment in custody and added: “With a community order, he is now able to grapple with his demons.”

She added he would not be “in some sort of denial” about his problem and “will have to engage with it.”

Miss Vee Monro, prosecuting, said Shaw told his victim the abuse should be “a secret always between them” and it would be “experience for you when you are older.”

In a statement, the court heard that the girl now suffered from nightmares and that her mother felt it had changed the youngster’s character.

The recorder added: “School is the place where she feels safer.”

Clive Stockwell, in mitigation, said Shaw did not initially admit to a sexual element in the case when first interviewed by a probation officer, which had not helped him.

He said: “The outcome is that the report makes more sinister reading than it would otherwise have done.

“There is an evident and identifiable problem, a problem which Mr Shaw has managed without a probation input.”

Mr Stockwell said there were many aspects of the case which showed Shaw had “not been dismissive” of the incidents.

He said his client would never have forced the girl to give evidence over what happened in August last year and that is why he pleaded guilty to the charges in court.

The hearing heard that Shaw had been convicted of indecent exposure in 1991 and 1994.

An order was imposed on him to have no contact with children under 16.

He was also put on the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years.