Andrew Burnett, aged 75, pleaded guilty at Coventry Crown Court to nine sex offence charges against the girl
A Coventry pensioner who sexually abused a seven-year-old girl will have to register as a sex offender for life after being jailed for ten years.
As Andrew Burnett was led from the dock the victim’s father confronted him and said: “Look at me, look at me. I’ll see you when you get out.”
The irate father then turned to the judge and said: “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean any disrespect, but he did that to my daughter.”
Burnett, aged 75, of St Judes Road, Willenhall, Coventry, pleaded guilty at Coventry Crown Court to nine sex offence charges against the girl.
The court had heard the girl’s parents had trusted Burnett, and he had taken advantage of that to sexually abuse the girl on a number of occasions when he happened to be alone with her.
The girl, who Judge Richard Griffith-Jones pointed out is not related to Burnett, said such incidents happened on a number of occasions.
Sometimes he rewarded her by giving her £1 or £2 which, at her age, she thought was a lot of money.
Eventually the girl found the courage to tell him to stop, and some time later broke down in front of a friend who wisely advised her to tell her mother, said prosecutor Paul Dhami.
She did so, and the police were contacted – and when Burnett was arrested he made frank admissions.
Ian Speed, defending, said: “He merely wishes me to apologise to his victim and her family.”
Judge Griffith-Jones commented: “He has pleaded guilty at the first opportunity, and he has never questioned the integrity of the complainant.
“So she has never been suggested to be a liar, which is sadly often the case by people who, in a cowardly way, are trying to extricate themselves from trouble.
“On the other hand, to say he apologises, perhaps he doesn’t even understand the damage he has done. Just to say ‘I apologise,’ the family might almost find it insulting because it just falls so many miles short.”
Jailing Burnett, Judge Griffith-Jones told him: “You have at least had the courage to accept responsibility; and that is not something that all people in your situation do.
“But I am afraid this is a bad case. It is bad because this is not someone who was just under 13; she was an infant who should have been innocent and protected.’’