Pensioner jailed for eight years for abusing two girls
A PENSIONER who abused two young girls has been jailed for eight years.
Paedophile Gordon Renaut was blasted at Southampton Crown Court for committing what Judge Nicholas Rowland described as a “gross breach of trust”.
One of his victims, neither of whom can be named for legal reasons, said Renaut had destroyed her confidence and she had had suicidal thoughts.
Renaut (83), of Alexandra Road, Hythe, faced 12 charges relating to offending against the girls. When he appeared before the court he pleaded guilty to six of them.
Four of the charges he admitted were sexual assault on a child under 13, one related to causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, and the other of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child.
Prosecutor Gemma White said the offences were unearthed when the mother of the younger girl was teaching her about inappropriate contact with adults.
The youngster revealed she had been the victim of touching by Renaut – which prompted the mother to confront him. The offending against the other victim subsequently came out.
“This was an abuse of trust. There was a significant age disparity between the defendant and the victims, and significant vulnerability in respect of the two girls,” Mrs White told the court.
Mrs White read out a victim impact statement by the elder victim, adding the younger girl was not old enough to complete one.
In it the victim described how she “felt bad”, had lost her self-confidence and found it difficult to trust anyone now. “Sometimes she says she does not want to be here,” Mrs White added.
The prosecutor said there had been “considerable discussions” between the Crown Prosecution Service and the defence before Renaut made the six admissions.
The other charges will lie on file.
Defence counsel Fern Russell said her client was a man of good character and handed in a clutch of references from friends to the court. In them Renaut was described as “kind” and “helpful,” she said.
She explained that Renaut, who sat with his head bowed in the dock during the proceedings, had been married for 20 years and had lived at the same address, his parents’ home, since 1948.
He retired at 60 having worked with companies in the shipping and construction industry helping to maintain the integrity of pipelines.
She said he had several health problems related to old age: kidney disease, high blood pressure, and he needed a cataract operation and heart scans.
“These [offences] are serious aberrations in the life of a hard-working, responsible and – it would appear – caring and supportive man,” said Ms Russell.
Sentencing, Judge Rowland said the offences were “grave” and “serious”.
He went on: “This was a gross abuse of trust in relation to those girls and in the ways the offending has affected them, particularly the youngest.”
In addition to the eight-year jail sentence, Renaut will have to sign the sex offenders register for life and be subject to a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years.
During the hearing Renaut’s wife left the courtroom in distress. It is understood an ambulance was alerted by court staff but stood down.