Widower jailed for abusing girls

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A WIDOWER who carried the ashes of his dead wife around with him has been jailed for two years for abusing teenage girls on holiday - offering one victim £20 to sleep with him.

William Smith, aged 68, of Maran Avenue, Darfield, Barnsley, attacked two girls aged 13 and 14 in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, touching them inappropriately and ‘persistently’ asking one for sex.

Sheffield Crown Court heard the retired miner - a dad-of-four - was “depressed, isolated and lonely” and drank excessively after his wife of 27 years died.

After drinking at a caravan site club he attempted to ‘seduce’ his younger victim, offering her £20 for sex. Elizabeth Martin, prosecuting, said the attacks happened five years ago.

“He repeatedly asked the 13-year-old to have sex with him,” Miss Martin said.

His victim said in a statement: “It was like he was trying to manipulate me into it.”

The court heard he also sexually abused the 14-year-old.

When Smith was arrested he admitted having a conversation about sex with the younger victim, but denied touching her.

“He thought nothing inappropriate had occurred in that conversation,” Miss Martin told the court, adding he also ‘denied any impropriety’ with the older girl.

Miss Martin said the younger victim was left feeling confused by the attack and distrusting of older men, including her schoolteachers.

“She is finding it difficult to stay focused at college and has taken up counselling,” she said, adding the older girl, now 19, was ‘extremely upset’ at the time.

Ian Goldsack, defending, said Smith is ‘very sorry’, adding: “He’s not blessed with any great intellect.” He added: “He did it when he was at an extremely low ebb.”

Judge Roger Keen QC told Smith: “Any right-thinking member of society would be appalled if you didn’t receive an immediate custodial sentence.”

Smith admitted sexual activity with a child and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.