September 2008

Pervert foster father jailed for string of child sex attacks

A PAEDOPHILE foster father who carried out sex attacks on young girls has been jailed for nine years.

Mark Smith was brought to justice following a two-year investigation in which police interviewed more than 50 youngsters placed with him by social services.

Although no charges were brought relating to the foster children, three other victims came forward to tell of abuse dating back nearly five decades.

Two were aged just four when Smith began his depraved attacks, while the other was aged nine, a trial at Lincoln Crown Court was told.

In the late 1970s Smith eloped with a 15-year-old girl he met while working as a school bus driver in Leicester.

But no charges were brought against him in relation to the incident.

He later divorced and moved to Skegness, where he remarried and began fostering through Lincolnshire County Council.

He was finally arrested in 2006 after two of his victims went to police.

Smith, now of Seaholme Road, Mablethorpe, was found guilty of six charges of indecent assault and four offences of indecency with a child between December 1959 and August 1997.

Judge Michael Heath told the 63-year-old, who was cleared of 21 other charges: “These offences were simply to satisfy your own perverted lust.”

He placed Smith on the sex-offenders’ register for life and banned him from having contact with children.

Christopher Geeson, defending, told the court: “At the age of 63, Smith will now go into custody. That will have a devastating effect on his life.”