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Midsomer Norton pensioner abused girl in string of sex attacks

By Somerset Guardian  |  Posted: February 21, 2013

Barrington Alan Clements

Barrington Alan Clements

A 67-year-old Midsomer Norton man has been jailed for eight years for sexual offences against a child.

Barrington Alan Clements, of Phillis Hill, admitted a string of sex offences against the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, between 2008 and last year.

At Bristol Crown Court, Clements pleaded guilty to 18 charges of sexual touching, although he said he could not remember some of the offences against the girl.

Defence lawyer Rosaleen Collins had appealed to the judge to take into account the defendant’s age when passing the sentence.

Mrs Collins added: “Nothing I can say can repair the damage caused or the trauma and devastation inflicted.

“Distorted thinking is a classic hallmark of someone sexually interested in children. He has difficulties understanding his weakness but has always accepted his guilty plea and accepts the dreadful series of events has caused consequences for a long time to come.”

She said he had worked all his life and said “in all other respects was a decent member of society” but that he had been “outcast” by his whole family since admitting the offences.

Passing sentence, Judge Geoffrey Mercer QC told Clements: “You sexually abused your young victim on a regular basis. To say this is a breach of trust is a gross understatement.

“You used this young girl for your own sexual satisfaction which was the most extreme betrayal possible.”

The judge said Clements had caused “untold drama”, but said he had reduced the sentence to take account of the defendant’s guilty plea.

He added: “If you had been convicted after a trial you would have been sentenced to 12 years in prison but you pleaded guilty at the first opportunity, and as was rightly said on your behalf, you will get full credit for this as it meant your victim did not have to relive the experiences during the trial.”

Det Insp Mike Williams, from the Avon and Somerset police public protection unit, urged anyone who had been the victim of any kind of sexual assault to come forward to talk to specially trained staff.

He added: “My thoughts are with the victim of this investigation who bravely gave evidence of sexual offences committed against her.

“I am pleased with the verdict and sentence passed, which I hope provides the victim with some closure and allows her to move on with her life, knowing that the offender will serve a custodial sentence for the crimes he committed.”

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