91-year-old child abuser escapes jail
A PAEDOPHILE who admitted sexually abusing two little girls was spared jail because he was too old to survive in prison.
Wilfred Aldred, 91, admitted three counts of inciting a child to gross acts of indecency relating to offences carried out decades ago.
Zilla Williams, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court that Aldred committed the offences against the girls, who were both under the age of 10, in a park and at his home.
Aldred, of Newhey Road, Birkenhead, was due to stand trial earlier in the month but pleaded guilty at the last minute.
Trevor Parry Jones, defending, asked for Aldred, a widower, not to be jailed.
He said: “Were he a younger man, a fitter man, were he 70, custody would be almost inevitable. But we are not dealing with that. He is someone very much in his later years.
“The effect of custody probably he would not be able to understand.
“He would degenerate so quickly one year in custody would be like 10 years for a normal person.”
Wearing dark glasses and a Remembrance Day poppy Aldred was told by Judge Mark Brown he was probably the oldest person to have stood in the dock at Liverpool Crown Court.
He said: “You have pleaded guilty to committing dreadful and wicked offences upon these two victims.
“If you were a younger man, and by that I mean if you were aged in your seventies, then today’s outcome would have been very different.
“The fact is you are one of, if not the oldest, defendant to have appeared in the dock in this crown court.
“On the one hand there is no doubt the wish of the victims that you be punished appropriately and no doubt they would expect that to mean prison.
“The general public themselves in normal circumstances would think a person who has committed these offences should go to prison.
“On the other hand you are very elderly. You are not in the best of health. If I do send you to prison there must be serious concern as to whether you would ever come out alive.
“If you were to go to prison you would find it very difficult to cope.
“There is very likely to be a quick degeneration and there could be a very significant adverse effect upon you.”
He sentenced Aldred, who was of previous good character, to 12 months in prison suspended for two years.
Judge Brown added: “Your age is the only thing that saved you.
“These were despicable offences and I hope you bitterly regret them.
“I very much hope to never see you again.”