Paedophile aged 102 sentenced in UK for sex offences in 1970s | world-news | Hindustan Times
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Paedophile aged 102 sentenced in UK for sex offences in 1970s

Douglas Hammersley, sentenced for sex offences dating back to the 1970s, is believed to be the oldest person convicted of a crime in Britain.

world Updated: Sep 12, 2017 19:05 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
The victim, who is now in her forties, reported Hammersley to police after his family threw him a 100th birthday party that was reported in a local newspaper. 
The victim, who is now in her forties, reported Hammersley to police after his family threw him a 100th birthday party that was reported in a local newspaper. (Representative purpose)

A 102-year-old man in the UK has been given a suspended sentence for sex offences dating to the 1970s and ordered to pay £25,000 to the victim, making him the oldest person convicted of a crime in the country.

Douglas Hammersley, born in 1915, was given the two-year suspended sentence at Aylesbury Crown Court on Monday after pleading guilty to three counts of indecent assault in the incidents that took place in Buckinghamshire, when the victim was between five and eight years old.

Hammersley was interviewed at home under caution after the victim told Thames Valley Police in October 2015 that she had been abused by him. He was then summoned to court and the charges were put before him.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said he originally pleaded not guilty to the charges but admitted the offences at a plea and trial preparation hearing in July.

Hammersley admitted to the three counts of indecent assault on a girl aged under 14 years that violated provisions of the Schedule 2 Sexual Offences Act 1956. He was ordered to pay £25,000 as compensation to the victim within 21 days, and £3,500 costs to the CPS within the same period.

The compensation was awarded in July as the victim was entitled to sue the defendant for damages and in case the victim died before the sentencing remarks were made.

Senior prosecutor Jennie Laskar-Hall of the CPS said: "We were able to prosecute Hammersley thanks to the victim coming forward, even though the offences were committed more than four decades ago. Hammersley was determined to put his victim through a trial by pleading not guilty.

“His defence team also claimed he was not fit to stand trial and provided two expert reports in support of this. We successfully challenged this evidence by providing our own expert report that he was fit for trial and the judge accepted our argument. Following the fitness to plead argument he admitted his guilt."

The victim, who is now in her forties, reported Hammersley to police after his family threw him a 100th birthday party that was reported in a local newspaper. 

Hammersley is thought to be the oldest person convicted of a crime in Britain, prosecutors said. In December 2016, a 101-year-old man was jailed for 13 years for sex crimes against two young sisters and their brother. Police said at the time he was the oldest person to have been found guilty of a crime in British legal history.