91-year old man jailed for historic child sexual abuse offences

Mick Ferris
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A 91-year-old man has been sentenced to ten years in jail for sexual offences against a young girl almost two decades ago.

Eric Grant, of Hall Barn Road, Isleham, appeared at Basildon Crown Court on Thursday February 23, where he was jailed for offences which took place between 2004 and 2005.

The victim was just 11 years-old at the time she was abused. The abuse took place in Cambridgeshire and in Essex.

The victim reported the abuse in March 2021.

Prior to speaking to police, she had called Grant to confront him.

She recorded the call, where Grant implied that the acts had been consensual. The victim then bravely used this as evidence when reporting to the police.

The investigation was picked up by Essex Police’s Quest Team, who investigate non-recent child sexual abuse.

Grant was interviewed in July 2021 and refused to tell officers anything. Despite this, he was charged a few months later.

Following a trial at Basildon Crown Court, which began on December 12, 2022, Grant was found guilty and placed on the Sex Offenders Register whilst being remanded into custody ahead of his sentencing.

He was also given a restraining order, preventing him from making any contact with the victim.

At the sentencing, the victim bravely spoke out in court, describing how Grant’s crimes have had a lasting effect on her including how it has made her extremely protective of her own child.

His Honour Judge Hurst described Grant’s defence as “cowardly” and criticised him for putting the victim through the difficult court process despite his recorded admissions.

Investigating Officer, Detective Sergeant Ed Massey said: “I want to commend the bravery of the victim in this case, who I know feels like a massive weight has now been lifted from her.

“I feel the sentence – and the fact that Grant is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison – reflects the devastating effects of his sexual abuse of a child, and the fact that he made the victim go through the difficult process of a crown court trial.

“I would also like to extend my thanks to the Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) from CARA (Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse) who supported the victim throughout the whole process, including several days of jury deliberations, and being by her side today as she read her Victim Personal Statement.”

Detective Sergeant Shirley Cole, from the Quest team, said: “The Quest team is made up of dedicated, specialist officers who work day-in, day-out to get justice for victims.

“Our work shows that just because sexual abuse took place decades ago, it doesn’t mean that you have any less of a right to have someone who abused you held to account.

“I would urge anyone who was abused as a child to come forward and report to us what happened to them.”

Support is there for anyone affected by rape and sexual abuse, and no victim or survivor is alone. Synergy Essex provides specialist support for victims and survivors of rape and sexual abuse of all ages and all genders across Essex, Thurrock and Southend.

Synergy Essex is a partnership of rape and sexual abuse centres in Essex: CARA (Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse), SERICC Rape and Sexual Abuse Specialist Service and Southend-on-Sea Rape Crisis (SOS Rape Crisis). Synergy Essex is independent from the police and provides support for victims and survivors throughout their journey.

Victims and survivors can self-refer, or be referred by a parent, partner, friend or professional and can access specialist emotional support, counselling and advocacy.  For victims and survivors who report to the police, Synergy Essex provides an Independent Sexual Violence Adviser (ISVA) service, providing support throughout the criminal justice process.

For more information visit the Synergy Essex website.

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: mickferris@yellowad.co.uk