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Francis Garrett, from Dymchurch, jailed for sexually abusing child

By Paul Hooper

An 80-year-old who has never been in trouble before appeared in court for the first time - to be jailed for eight years.

Francis Garrett denied five charges of sexually assaulting a child, but was convicted by a jury at Canterbury Crown Court.

His victim had remained silent, fearing she wouldn’t be believed. He claimed she had been telling lies.

Francis Garrett. Picture: Kent Police.
Francis Garrett. Picture: Kent Police.

As he was being led away to jail, Judge Rupert Lowe told him: “One good thing you can do now is to admit who has been telling the truth.”

Garrett, of Brockman Crescent, Dymchurch, had turned to pornography after sexual relations with his wife had stopped.

The jury heard he abused a child and told her not to report the incidents – which she didn’t for many years, fearing she wouldn't be believed.

The judge told him: “You know your acts were wicked, and like children do, she didn’t say anything.

“But this was serious sexual abuse of a child, which was fuelled by your interest in pornography.”

The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court
The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court

Garrett stumbled as sentence was passed before being helped away by security staff.

He was ordered to remain on the sex offenders' register for life.

An NSPCC spokesperson said: "Garrett's victim has shown enormous courage in speaking out about her horrific ordeal.

"It is thanks to her immense bravery that Garrett is now facing the consequences of his depraved actions.

"This case highlights that victims of sexual abuse will be listened to and justice can be achieved no matter how long ago the offences took place."

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