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Former soldier Philip Fusco jailed for sex attacks on child in Dover

A former soldier thought he had escaped punishment for his vile sex attacks on a child committed in Dover more than 25 years ago.

Philip Fusco, an ex-squaddie with the Irish Rangers, moved to Northern Ireland, married and built a life.

But now his past has returned to haunt him after a jury at Canterbury Crown Court convicted him of three sex attacks in the late 1980s.

Ibrahim was sent back to prison
Ibrahim was sent back to prison

He was told by a judge: “For a quarter of a century you have been living with a secret which has finally caught up with you.”

If he had been charged under present legislation, Fusco, 56, would have faced a maximum life sentence for his appalling acts on the young child.

However, he has to be sentenced according to rules operating in the 1980s, which carries a maximum of just two years.

And, ironically, under new legislation judges can only pass a one-year jail term – as the second year had to be served on licence.

Judge Simon James told him: “This case provides an extreme and graphic illustration how the view of society on this kind of offending has changed.”

Fusco was living with his family in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, after he had served “with a degree of distinction for your country”.

Judge Simon James
Judge Simon James

He was arrested and charged with sex offences and pleaded not guilty but now he has had to sign the sex offenders’ register.

The judge said: “Many years ago you subjected your victim to prolonged, sustained sexual abuse.

"You then left the area to start a new life and lived happily with your family for decades… yet your abuse blighted your victim’s life.

"From all I have read about your victim, what you did to her has had a profound effect on her.

"From all I have read about your victim, what you did to her has had a profound effect on her" - judge Simon James

“One can only hope that your conviction will bring some closure and allow her to move forward.

"Yet I suspect that the impact of the (restrictions) on the overall sentence may not necessarily help that process.”

Fusco was given a total of three years in jail and ordered to remain on licence for an extra three years after his release.

An NSPCC spokesperson said: “Justice has finally caught up with Fusco and he is now rightly behind bars.

“His depraved actions will have had a distressing impact on his victim and we hope she has received all the support she needs to help get her life back on track.

“This case proves that offenders like Fusco can be brought to justice for their crimes no matter how much time has passed.”

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