June 2002

Pervert jailed for history of assaults

A paedophile has been sent to jail after admitting sexually assaulting young girls over a 23-year period.

John Smith, 59, of John Morris Road, Abingdon, was sentenced at Oxford Crown Court yesterday to four and a quarter years behind bars.

He admitted nine offences of indecently assaulting young girls and two offences of gross indecency. The offences took place between 1968 and 1991.

David Bright, prosecuting, said Smith was trusted by people in Abingdon.

In describing the details of the offences he said that Smith enticed the girls to his garden shed and assaulted them in his living room and in bedrooms.

He said that six girls between the ages of six and 12 became victims of Mr Smith, who took advantage of them on numerous occasions. Mr Bright said: “He was entrusted with young lives and abused this trust by abusing young children.”

He read out statements from the victims, including one which read: “Unless this has happened to you, you have no idea the effect it has on young lives.

“My childhood happiness was stolen by Mr Smith.”

In sentencing, Judge David Morton Jack said: “Your behaviour is unacceptable in a civilised society.”