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Pervert Geoffrey Bishop is 'already a prisoner'

Scales of justice
Scales of justice

by Keith Hunt

A brain damaged paedophile's lawyer claimed he shouldn't be jailed because he's "mentally a prisoner in his own body".

Geoffrey Bishop defence told a judge he was no longer a risk to children because of his decline in health.

But Judge Jeremy Gold QC said while he would reduce the sentence, the offences were serious and the 62-year-old had to go to prison.

He was handed six years in jail.

Bishop, of Stanhope Road, Ashford, had been released from a 12-month jail sentence in July 2002 for indecently assaulting a young girl, when soon afterwards he molested and tried to rape another girl.

Dianne Chan, prosecuting, said that the second victim told her mother on Christmas Day 2008 that she had been abused by Bishop when she was younger.

He admitted attempted rape, indecency with a child and three indecent assault charges.

Paul Hogben, defending, told Maidstone Crown Court Bishop was "not the man now that he was when he committed these serious offences".

He suffered an aneurism in 2006 and his life was saved at the price of brain damage.

"That has impacted on him dramatically," he said. "He has a number of serious medical conditions. He has kidney, liver and respiratory problems.

"It is not only physical disability, but mental as well. He can't go out, because if he did he would get lost.

"He is mentally a prisoner in his own body. He is almost in custody at the moment by virtue of the brain damage he suffered.

"He does not come in to contact with people, let alone children. He presents no risk whatsoever because of the decline in his health since he committed these offences.

"The risk he presents has virtually been extinguished by virtue of the medical conditions he suffers."

Mr Hogben added: "These offences are horrible but in circumstances like this where an elderly gentleman in poor health has been brought before the court for historic offences there is leeway to exercise power of mercy.

"I submit a right-thinking member of the public listening to this case would not be affronted in these exceptional circumstances were you not to send him to prison."

Mr Hogben submitted a suspended sentence could be imposed, along with a sexual offences prevention order.

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