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Child abuser jailed
A PENSIONER who acted as a “trustworthy” and “kindly” figure to win the affection of two young girls before systematically abusing them has been jailed for 27 months.
Laurence Dumpleton, 79, molested the girls, who were aged 13 and ten, over a number of months in 1996.
And between the abuse taking place and coming to light, a judge at Swindon Crown Court heard, Dumpleton had offended in a similar fashion against another young girl.
In December 2000 he was jailed for 15 months after he was convicted of sexually abusing another child.
Dumpleton, of Beaulieu Road, Amesbury, was found guilty of the latest offences by a jury at Salisbury Crown Court following a trial last month.
They convicted him of four counts of indecent assault and three of indecency with a child, but cleared him of more serious charges of rape against both victims.
Kate Brown, prosecuting, said both girls, now in their twenties, were groped by Dumpleton and encouraged to touch him inappropriately.
Robin Griffiths, defending, said his client was now an elderly man in ill health and had already experienced the shock of his first prison term.
He urged the court to impose a suspended sentence saying Dumpleton no longer presented a risk of re-offending.
"He's an elderly, virtually broken man now. In my submissions it is simply not necessary to send him straight down," he said.
But Judge Douglas Field said: "The offences have had a profound and long lasting effect on these two complainants.
"I accept that they have led troubled lives in later life and it can't be said that the fact that you offended against them sent them down that path: but the fact you offended against them did not help.
"I accept that you are now an old man. You are 79 and you are in poor health and I have read the letter from your GP.
"I regret to tell you that these offences are so serious that I am obliged to pass an immediate sentence of imprisonment."
Dumpleton will have to register as a sex offender for ten years.