February 2023

Blackburn pervert jailed for the abuse of five-year-old girl

A dangerous pervert who sexually assaulted a five year old girl in Blackburn has been jailed

Appearing at Preston Crown Court on Monday, February 6, Robert Bell was given an extended determinate sentence of nine years.

Judge Andrew Jeffries KC described Bell, 57, as someone who poses a significant risk of serious harm to the public and was a high risk of harm to female children.

Lancashire Police launched an investigation into Bell, formerly of Monmouth Road, Blackburn, but now of no fixed address, after they received a report he had sexually assaulted a girl when she was just five-years-old.

Bell’s mobile phone and computer were examined following his arrest and police found indecent images of children, some of them the most serious examples of child sexual abuse showing child rape

Bell pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a girl under the age of 13 and making indecent images of children.

As part of his sentencing, Bell must satisfy The Parole Board he no longer poses a risk to the public before he is eligible for early release.

He was also made subject of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for life.

In a statement to the court, the victim’s mum wrote: “Before this my daughter was a happy, sociable, care-free typical five-year-old.

“Since the incident my daughter no longer sleeps well.

“She was struggling with her sleep that much that our GP had to give her sleeping medication.

“Last night she finally fell asleep about 1.30am but said to me she didn’t feel safe.

“I feel as though she falls asleep once the exhaustion finally catches up with her and after she has cried herself to sleep.

“As a mother, this really upsets me that no matter how much I reassure her, my daughter doesn’t feel safe and no matter what I change the nightmares and fear follow her.

“I feel helpless as there’s nothing else, I can do and I worry the neighbours must hear her crying at night and think I’m a terrible mother.”

She added: “My daughter now runs away from men she does not know.

“She has on occasion asked me if they are bad men too. My daughter’s general attitude has completely changed.

“The incident has aged her, you would think she was a teenager with the way she acts.

“She gets angry and swears whereas she wouldn’t have before.”