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Man given suspended sentence for sexual assault of girl
A man has been given a suspended sentence for sexually assaulting a nine-year-old girl in a supermarket.
John Hayford, 83, from Dorset, was sentenced to 21 months in prison, suspended for two years, for sexually assaulting a girl in Sainsbury’s Supermarket, in The Broadway, Stanmore, in March 2012.
Harrow Crown Court heard today how Hayford had approached the girl while she was sitting on the floor of the supermarket.
He asked the girl, who had been separated from her mother, whether she was ticklish and he then indecently assaulted her.
The girl immediately told her mother what had happened and store security was informed but they could not find Hayford in the shop.
CCTV footage from the store on the day was used by police as part of an appeal locally and then on BBC television show Crimewatch at the end of May last year.
After the airing of the footage showing Hayford, his daughter informed him it had been on television and he handed himself in at Harrow Police Station.
The court heard extracts from a victim impact statement from the girl, which said she could no longer go into the supermarket and she would have to regularly take two baths in the evening because of the assault.
It went on to say how the girl no longer liked to be out alone and as a result of the incident her schooling had suffered.
Prosecuting, Scott Bradley also read from a statement from the victim’s mother.
He said: “She now feels emotionally traumatised from the incident and it has left her psychologically scarred.”
In mitigation, Marion Smullen said: “This is an elderly man suffering with dementia and he is in extremely bad health.”
She added that doctors for both the crown and the defence found Hayford had dementia and had been suffering with the condition for up to seven years before the assault.
In sentencing, Judge John Anderson said: “You have taken advantage of a nine year old girl.”
He took into account Hayford’s poor health, suspending his prison sentence for two years and stated Hayford must stay with his daughter at her address in Dorset where he currently lives.