April 2008

Sex abuse grandad jailed for 12 years

A grandfather who sexually abused his two granddaughters as they were growing up has been jailed for 12 years.

For 14 years Philip John Gadsby, who is now 70 and lived in Sandy, a north Beds village, subjected the girls to a sickening series of depraved sex acts.

One girl turned to drink and drugs to block out the nightmare of what was happening to her, and had tried to take her own life.

The two girls realised they had both been victims of the pensioner years later when they met by chance in a pub and one asked the other, “Did grandad ever touch you?”

At Luton Crown Court last week the pensioner was told by Judge Richard Foster that what he had done to his granddaughters, who are now grown women in their twenties, was “evil”.

The judge added: “You took away from these two girls the innocence of their childhood.”

The pensioner pleaded guilty to two offences of rape on one girl, 11 offences of indecent assault, and four offences of indecency with a child. Both girls were around eight years old when the offences began in the late 1980s.

Offences took place at their homes, or when they were visiting him and their grandmother was out. He fondled the girls, committed sex acts on them, and got them to perform sex acts on him.

He showed pornographic films to one of his granddaughters, asking her, “Would you like me to do that to you?”

Miss Vanessa Marshall, prosecuting, said after raping one girl he told her, “Not to tell her nan,” and gave her a big bag of sweets.

The court heard as the girl got older he began giving her money for sex, which she used to buy alcohol and drugs, and that with both girls the offences had continued into their mid teens.

In 2005, one of the victims began talking to social workers about what had happened to her. Police became involved and interviewed the other woman. In November 2006 the defendant was arrested.

Judge Foster was told how one victim had felt “isolated” and “different from other children” when she was growing up because of what was happening to her.

Years later she still felt angry that her grandfather had robbed her of her childhood and innocence. In later life the same girl had turned to drink and drugs and self-harm, and had tried to take her own life.

The other victim, the court heard, found it hard to trust people and had difficulty forming relationships. She was also wracked by feelings of guilt.

Ms Kate Davey, defending, asked that her client be given credit for pleading guilty. She added: “He has devastated his family and split it up by his behaviour.”

The judge said his sentence had to reflect the abhorrence felt by right-minded members of society at what he had done.

In addition to the 12-year jail term, the pensioner was also made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order, prohibiting him from approaching the women and having any unsupervised contact with children or seeking employment which would give him unsupervised contact with children.

His name will also go on the sex offenders’ register.