A 91-year-old man – believed to be one of Britain’s oldest paedophiles – has been jailed for two years for a series of sex attacks on a little girl.
The frail pensioner, who was pushed into Sheffield Crown Court in a wheelchair, was flanked by three prison guards as he admitted his crimes which date back to the 1970s.
Alison Dorrell, prosecuting, said Bertram Jacob first sexually abused the girl when she was aged five and continued to do so until she was 13.
Jailing him, Judge Peter Kelson said: “For a 10-year period on many occasions you satisfied your own perverted sexual lusts.
“She has suffered the effects ever since. She is an ongoing victim.” The court heard the former soldier was in poor health and, after a bout of pneumonia 18 months ago, was put into a nursing home. He is looked after by carers who visit him four times a day.
Miss Dorrell said the girl was just five when he began to indecently assault her and perform sex acts.
She said the victim, who is now married with two children, has been ‘damaged’ for life.
In a statement read in court the victim said she did not report the abuse, because she was scared she would not be believed.
She said: “I carried this secret for a long time.”
Miss Dorrell said: “She was innocent. She became fearful of going to his house. “She felt fearful of telling her mother and felt her mother blamed her and didn’t speak to the authorities.”
The victim continued: “As I got older I felt dirty and ashamed and found it hard to form relationships with males.”
The court heard it was only when she met her long-term partner and had two children of her own she was able to confide.
Miss Dorrell said: “When her own daughter became seven in 2006 she broke down physically and mentally. She could not work and began counselling which continues to this day.”
Jacob, of Rose Grove, Armthorpe, Doncaster, was supported by two relatives in court.
He admitted nine offences of indecent assault and nine of gross indecency.
Edward Moss, mitigating, said the offences passed the custody threshold, but he was 91, wheelchair-bound and in poor health.
Mr Moss said: “His GP says custody will have an effect on him but it is difficult to say what that effect would be.”
He said Jacob had expressed remorse for his crimes, adding: “At his age and level of infirmity he poses no threat for the future.
“He has made some peace for himself through his religion and is truly sorry and ashamed.”
The court heard Jacob had written a letter in which he had apologised.
Sentencing him, Judge Kelson said the victim had suffered physically and mentally and needed counselling.
He said the offences were ‘grave in the extreme’.
He said: “I don’t know whether your victim has found it possible to forgive you.
“What I’m aware of is the terrible suffering she has incurred as a result of this. “The victim was entirely at your mercy for this period of time. It was a prolonged, sustained set of assaults.
“It was degradation and humiliation although in her innocence she didn’t realise what was going on. There was a significant degree of planning and organisation.”