80-year-old jailed for indecent assault against young girl

Dennis Rudd.
Dennis Rudd.

An 80-year-old man has been jailed for three years for child sex abuse.

Dennis Rudd, who uses a walking frame, was found guilty after a trial of touching a girl.

The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court.

The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court.

The victim told Teesside Crown Court Rudd asked her if she liked what he was doing, and did he want him to do it again.

The girl told her mother at the time, but she decided not to call the police.

When confronted by the girl's mother, Rudd said he she must have dreamed what had happened.

During his trial, he denied saying that, but said the girl had made up the allegations because she was an attention seeker.

The victim told the jury: "He still thinks it's not real, there was no remorse for what he'd done."

Rudd, of Sea View Park Homes, Easington Road, Hartlepool, denied a single charge of indecent assault.

He was convicted after a trial lasting two days.

Paul Cleasby, defending, said in mitigation Rudd had led an otherwise blameless life, had worked hard, and is the carer for his wife of more than 60 years.

"This can truly be said to be out of character," said Mr Cleasby.

"There are a number of personal and employer references which speak very highly of him.

"The inevitable prison sentence will impact heavily on a man of his age and health.

"It will also impact heavily on his wife."

Jailing Rudd for three years, Judge Peter Armstrong told him: "Your victim told her mother within two weeks of this happening, which I regard as telling evidence against you.

"I take into account this was a single incident, and very much out of character.

"Those factors can reduce the length of sentence, but it has to be immediate custody.

"You will serve half the sentence in custody before being eligible for parole, which I anticipate will be granted in your case.

"The sentence I have passed is as short as it can be, commensurate with my public duty."

Rudd must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.