Published: 12:50, 12 February 2019
| Updated: 12:52, 12 February 2019
A pensioner may die in jail for sex attacks on a child more than 30 years ago, a court has been told.
Ex-soldier Michael Brooker, who turns 70 next month, has been given a 16-year jail term for his crimes.
But when the judge was told there was a likelihood he may now die before he is released, he retorted: “Well he has brought this on himself.
“People who target children do so because they are less likely to report it at the time.
“Many, many years may pass before they are able to reveal what happened.”
The former squaddie remained impassive in the dock at Canterbury Crown Court as the judge, Recorder David Jeremy QC, passed sentence on 17 sex offences.
Then as his brave victim watched from the public gallery, Brooker, of Stuart Road, Gravesend, turned sharply and was taken to the cells without glancing at her.
Earlier the judge heard how the woman had revealed the heartless sex offender had “stolen her childhood”, leaving her suffering from flashbacks.
“People who target children do so because they are less likely to report it at the time..." - Recorder David Jeremy QC
Recorder Jeremy said Brooker had not destroyed her life because she had been courageous and not allowed that to happen.
Although she had reported the attacks at the time, she had not been believed.
The victim said she finally was encouraged to report what had happened again after talking with a counsellor about her depression.
The victim’s father was then informed and he alerted the police, who began an investigation into Brooker’s secret attacks.
Prosecutor Dominic Connolly told a jury how Brooker made her carry out a series of lewd acts in Thanet.
Mr Connolly said that when Brooker’s computer was examined police found more than 1,000 indecent images, including some of the worst examples.
Brooker admitted downloading depraved photos but denied rape and sexual assault charges, claiming his victim had made up the allegations.
He was also ordered to remain on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life and is now subject to an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention order.
His barrister Stephen Kinsanya told the court that Brooker had now lost his good character “in the saddest of ways”.
But the judge cut across the lawyer’s mitigation, saying Brooker could not claim remorse as he had forced the victim to give evidence.
After the sentencing, the victim wept and was comforted by a relative and a police officer.