Jail for man who sexually abused young girl

A MAN jailed for sexually abusing a young girl over a six-year period told a court he was “sickened” by his own actions.

In the middle of proceedings at Cambridge Crown Court, David Meldrum asked his defence barrister to tell judge Jonathan Haworth how sorry he was for the repeated indecent assaults of the girl during the 1980s.

The 68-year-old, of Vicarage Close, Waterbeach, started the abuse when the girl was about 10 or 11 years old.

In later years, he would expose himself to the girl and ask her to touch his genitals.

The girl said she complied with his requests because she “did not realise it was wrong”, prosecutor Sara Walker told the court.

Judge Jonathan Haworth jailed Meldrum for a total of three years after the defendant pleaded guilty to gross indecency with a girl under the age of 14 and two counts of indecent assault against a child.

He also pleaded guilty to another indecent assault on another young girl but was said to have “exercised restraint” in later years despite coming into contact with children.

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“This was a horrendous period of abuse,” Judge Haworth said.

“The impact upon her is difficult fully to know.

“It has taken many years for her to speak out. Clearly, it must have had a significant impact on her.”

He added that the crimes were aggravated because of the “sheer length of time over which the offences were committed”.

Mitigating, Georgina Gibbs said: “He has expressed utter disgust, shame and remorse for doing what he did.”

In interview, Meldrum told police he “wasn’t attracted by children” and did not know why he committed the offences.

Miss Gibbs said Meldrum’s sorrow was “reflective of someone who has come to reflect on his course of conduct”.

She said he would be willing to embark on a sexual offenders’ rehabilitation programme while in prison.