Febuary 2009

Judges cut paedophile’s jail term

A “DEVIOUS and manipulative” pensioner who systematically abused two vulnerable schoolgirls had his sentence cut on appeal.

Edward Trotter, now 72, was jailed for 13 and a half years at Newcastle Crown Court last July after admitting carrying out a string of sex crimes – including rape, indecent assault and taking indecent photos – on the two girls.

Mr Justice Walker, sitting at London’s Appeal Court with Lady Justice Hallett and Mr Justice Roderick Evans yesterday, said the retired plasterer also tried to cover his tracks by attempting to blackmail the girls by threatening to disclose the degrading photos he had taken.

Trotter, of Greens Place, South Shields, denied there was any element of blackmail involved in his crimes, but the judge said the suffering caused to his victims and their families must have been “acute and extreme”.

Mr Justice Walker described him as “manipulative and calculating” and said he had used “controlling tactics” to satisfy his lust.

But, despite the serious aggravating features of the case, the judge concluded that 13-and-a-half years was “manifestly too high” a sentence, cutting Trotter’s jail term to 12 years.

After serving his sentence, Trotter must also serve an additional two-and-a-half-year “extended licence period” into the community, during which he can be recalled to prison if he puts a foot wrong.

July 2008

Perverted OAP ‘a danger to young girls’

A PENSIONER is today starting a 13-and-a-half-year prison sentence for a catalogue of sex offences on two schoolgirls.

Edward Trotter abused the youngsters, both under 13, and took intimate photographs to blackmail them into staying silent.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how the 71-year-old also raped one of the teenagers.

Trotter was only collared after one of his victims broke her silence and a police search of his home led investigators to the other girl.

Prosecutor Tim Parkin told the court the first girl reported her ordeal to the police in November last year.

She told officers: “He said I couldn’t tell anyone. He was threatening me and stuff and blackmailing me, saying he was going to show the photos he took around the school, and show my mam and everyone, so they would think I am a dirty little girl.”

Trotter was arrested, and during a search of his home, police found a memory card containing the pictures of the girl, as well as another youngster.

Detectives tracked down the second girl who admitted Trotter had abused her too.

Prosecutor Tim Parkin told the court: “She had made no complaint about his behaviour because she was frightened of what the defendant would do and who he would tell.”

Trotter, a retired plasterer, of Greens Place, South Shields, who has no previous convictions, admitted charges of indecent assault, sexual activity with a child, making and possessing indecent photographs.

He also admitted two rape charges against one of the girls.

Defence barrister Ewan Duff told the court how Trotter became depressed after his retirement, which was around the time the offences began.

Mr Duff said Trotter never showed the photographs to anyone else.

Judge Beatrice Bolton jailed Trotter for 13-and-a-half years with a two-and-a-half year extended licence period.

The judge told him: “Up until the age of 64 you appear to have led a normal, law abiding life but things changed about the time you retired.

“I don’t know what it was that changed you but, by the description of this offending, you have now become a man who is a danger to young girls.

“You are capable of the worst kind of exploitation.

“Despite your age this offending requires a substantial custodial sentence.”

Speaking after the case, Detective Constable Lynne Colledge said: “We are pleased on behalf of the victims that this is over.

“It was obviously a very harrowing time for them and their families, and it will be a relief to know the man who attacked them has finally accepted responsibility for what he has done.

“Hopefully the victims can now move on with their lives.

“Unfortunately far too many sexual offences go unreported. We would encourage all victims of rape or indecent assault to report such cases which will be handled in confidence and with great sensitivity.”