The UK's fastest-growing regional news network
18°C | 9°C
18°C | 10°C
18°C | 11°C
See the full forecast for your area.
Sponsored by Britelite.
Home Romney Marsh News Article
An 85-year-old Dymchurch man has been jailed for 18 years for sex crimes dating back more than 40 years.
Sydney Head appeared in court in a wheelchair – and had to read his sentence on a computer screen because of severe hearing difficulties.
He had been convicted by a jury at Canterbury Crown Court on 14 rape and indecent assault charges of two victims.
His barrister Lucy Luttman said the sentence would probably mean the pensioner will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
She said: "This is not a sob story, but his legs and feet have swollen to grotesque proportions. He has not been able to shower for the past two weeks.
"This is not a sob story, but his legs and feet have swollen to grotesque proportions. He has not been able to shower for the past two weeks..." - Lucy Luttman, defending
"He is feeling very isolated and vulnerable in prison. This is not a plea for sympathy, but mercy."
She said he was suffering from multiple illnesses and could only get about on walking sticks - and needed help bathing and dressing.
But Judge James O'Mahony told him he had been fully fit and healthy when he had carried out these "wicked indulgences to feed your sexual appetite".
Head sat slumped in his wheelchair at the side of the court as the judge said his attacks on the children amounted to cruelty.
"You have not shown any sympathy or remorse - not a jot," he said.
Prosecutor Paul Valder had told the court how Head, of Green Meadow, had threatened one of his victims not to report the repeated attacks.
Judge O'Mahony told Head: "You carried out a catalogue of abuse, which is probably the worse that I have ever come across in many years of dealing with these types of cases."
He said the "complete psychiatric breakdown and permanent problems" suffered by one of the victims suffered later in life "is down to your gross abuse".
The judge added the second victim also suffered "drastic effects" from the vile attacks by the sick pervert.
Head had denied the charges and both victims had to give evidence at the trial – "and had to re-live their experiences", he said.
Judge O'Mahony said the crimes deserved a 21-year sentence, but he would cut it by three years because of Head's medical problems.
He will be 94 before he can be considered for parole.
Click here for more news from Romney Marsh.
Click here for more news from around the county.