A north Suffolk man has been jailed for sex offences committed against a young girl more than 35 years ago.
Michael Hazelwood, 68, of Bromelands, Brome, had repeatedly abused and sexually assaulted the girl from when she was aged seven until 11.
Last Friday, Ipswich Crown Court heard that Hazelwood, had initially denied the offences but pleaded guilty just four days before he was due to go on trial.
Hazelwood, a former soldier and merchant navy sailor, had left his victim too frightened to tell anyone at the time what had taken place, said Lindsay Cox prosecuting. The crimes came to light when the girl’s new partner contacted police last year to ask for action to be taken.
Mr Cox said Hazelwood had committed the offences while he was living near Hadleigh, Suffolk, between March 1977 and March 1981. While he was alone with the girl Hazelwood had indecently exposed himself to her, touched her sexually and made her touch him.
Mr Cox described Hazelwood as a “frequently angry man with a violent temper.” He had warned the girl that he would kill her mother if she ever revealed what he had done.
Hazelwood, who was charged in June following a nine-month police investigation, pleaded guilty to one offence of indecent assault and five offences of indecent activity with a child.
The court heard that they were specimen charges and related to repeated incidents
Duncan O’Donnell, defending, said Hazelwood was under 40 at the time and is a very different man now. He said Hazelwood had made a partial admission of guilty when he was interviewed in connection with another matter in 1982.
Hazelwood had said the girl was honest, he regretted his behaviour and apologised for it.
Sentencing him to five years in prison, Mr Recorder Christopher Morgan told Hazelwood: “Your behaviour was disgusting and disgraceful.” He added that the offences had a profound effect on the girl and she was still having to deal with them. Hazelwood must sign on the sexual offences register for the rest of his life and is prohibited from working with children or being alone at his home with them.