Pensioner locked up over historic sex abuse of girl

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A pensioner has been jailed more than four decades after he carried out sex offences against a schoolgirl.

Eric Bowman, 82, was locked up for three years, eight months, over the abuse he carried out against the youngster who was around 12 years old when he targeted her in the 1970s.

Leeds Crown Court heard Bowman’s victim, now aged in her fifties, has suffered a lifetime of psychological suffering as a result of the ordeal.

Bowman, of Fairfax Avenue, Featherstone, pleaded guilty to attempted rape, gross indecency and three offences of indecent assault.

The court heard Bowman targeted the girl on a number of occasions then threatened her so she would not report the abuse.

The victim maintained her silence for many years as she thought no one would believe.

Jailing Bowman, judge Robin Mairs said: “The effects of the offence have lasted a lifetime.

“What you did to that young child effectively scarred her for the rest of her life and you did it for your own simple perverted sexual gratification.

“She has suffered significant and aggravated psychological effects from this over many years.

“She did not report this because she was terrified of the consequences of what you told her.”

Geraldine Kelly, mitigating, said Bowman had admitted to his offending at an early stage.

She said the pensioner could not remember committing some of the offences but accepted what he had as he did not want the victim to suffer the ordeal of giving evidence at a trial.

Miss Kelly said Bowman was genuinely remorseful for what he had done.

She said the offences were committed when he had been drinking heavily and he had not repeated his behaviour in the years since.