June 2022

Lying Honiton pensioner grabbed schoolgirl’s breasts

A sex pest pensioner molested a 14-year-old girl then pleaded with her to let him touch her again.

Robert Warden made obscene advances to the schoolgirl when she visited a house near Honiton.

When she pushed him away he pulled a ‘pathetic pleading expression’ and begged her to let him continue.

He later told a trial she had made up the whole story.

Warden was branded a self-pitying liar by the judge when he appeared for sentence at Exeter Crown Court 

He had given conflicting accounts of what happened while the victims’s allegation had been consistent and truthful.

The judge spared the 72-year-old immediate prison but ordered him to do 140 hours of unpaid work and pay £2,400 costs as part of a six-month suspended sentence.

It follows a trial in May when the jury convicted Warden of sexual activity with a child.

Judge David Evans said: “The victim made a straightforward, plain and truthful disclosure very shortly after you had done it. What had happened had shook her and scared her because such a thing can upend a child’s world.

“A very good indicator you were lying was that you described the incident in various different and contradictory ways to different people and at different times. What became clear in the trial is that fact and that she has been consistent about what you did do from day one.”

He said Warden had tried to portray himself as a ‘tipsy old man’.

“The sad truth is that in that moment you chose to touch a 14-year-old’s breasts. You touched her breasts over clothing quite deliberately and then sought to take advantage of her immediate shock by reaching under her top. She stopped your hands and you said ‘please’ while putting on a pathetic pleading expression.

“Your behaviour was obscene. You still deny the offence. You are self-pitying.”

The victim said in a statement that she had struggled with her mental health since the incident. She did not know whether to tell anybody and feared she would not be believed. She has changed from a confident outgoing girl to somebody who is worried about being around men and distrusts people.