Pensioner jailed for historic child sex abuse will ‘likely die in prison’

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The crown court in Southampton where Roy Jacobs was jailed
Roy Jacobs learned his fate at Southampton Crown Court in London Road

A PENSIONER who sexually abused two young girls is likely to die in jail after he was imprisoned for 18 years.

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There were gasps and tears from the packed public gallery inside Southampton Crown Court when the sentence of Roy Jacobs (75), of Orchard Way, Dibden Purlieu, was announced. The defendant, however, showed no emotion.

The sentencing hearing was told Jacobs threatened one of the victims to keep her quiet.

Judge Nicholas Rowland said the defendant committed a “gross abuse of trust”.

Jacobs faced a total of 12 charges against two victims – who cannot be named for legal reasons. The matters covered a period between the mid-1970s and 2003.

Roy Jacobs
Roy Jacobs is set to die behind bars

Jacobs pleaded guilty to eight counts but denied another four – meaning one of his victims had to go through the ordeal of coming to court to give evidence.

Eventually, the jury convicted him of three of the outstanding matters but found Jacobs not guilty of one count of indecency with a child.

Prosecutor Rose Burns said Jacobs was sentenced for 11 charges: nine counts of indecent assault and two of indecency with a child.

She read an emotional statement from one of his victims, which said: “He ruined my childhood and damaged me. I was made to grow up far too quickly because of the things he did to me.”

He had made her feel “dirty and insecure” and she suffered sleepless nights. She was prescribed medication and given long-term counselling, as well as having a “continuous ringing” in her ears.

“The way he manipulated and violated me will haunt me for the rest of my life,” she said.

Her father went into the witness box and said he regarded Jacobs as an “animal”.

Breaking down as he described the “loathing” he felt for Jacobs, he praised the “strength and courage” the victim had shown to give evidence in court.

Mrs Burns also revealed Jacobs had previous offences: in 1970 he was handed a suspended sentence after stopping two young girls to ask them for directions and sexually assaulting them.

Defending Jacobs, Andy Houston said his client was not in the best of health. “It is more than likely he will die during the course of the custodial sentence that will be imposed upon him.”

Prior to sentencing Jacobs, Judge Rowland praised those sitting in the public gallery for the way they had remained “dignified” in court and he also thanked the 12 members of the jury, who all returned to the court to see Jacobs sentenced.

Addressing Jacobs, who was in a wheelchair, Judge Rowland said they were “dreadful sexual offences” on “vulnerable” children.

“What you did was to destroy their childhoods – what you did will remain with them for the rest of their lives,” he said, adding: “These are grave offences.”

Judge Rowland also referenced how Jacobs’ denial of some offences cruelly caused the victim to appear in court. “She [the victim] had to relive again what you had done to her, rather than you accepting full responsibility for what you had done,” he noted.

Speaking after the sentencing the officer in the case, DC Hollie Wilson said: “These were horrific offences against young girls between 1976 and 2003 and I’m pleased that this sentence will mean that Jacobs is likely to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

“I would like to take this opportunity to praise the courage of all the witnesses who provided evidence to assist this investigation and I hope that his victims will get some sense of closure from this sentencing.

“I would also like to thank the investigation team who worked tirelessly to bring this sexual predator to justice,” she added. “We would encourage anyone who has been a victim of child sexual abuse to contact police on 101 where you can speak with our specialist detectives in confidence.

“Alternatively contact Child Line on 0800 11 11 or adults with any concerns about a child can contact 0808 800 550.”

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