A NELSON pervert who repeatedly sexually assaulted a young girl has been locked up for three years.

John Redman, 65, had abused the child some years ago and left her psychologically damaged. He was recently convicted by a Burnley Crown Court jury after a two-week trial, but still protests his innocence.

Ex-bakery worker Redman had been found guilty of two charges of indecent assault, one of them a specimen count. He had been cleared of three allegations of rape and two allegations of gross indecency with a child, involving the same complainant. He denied all the charges against him and said the attacks didn't happen.

The sentencing hearing was told a probation officer had assessed the defendant as posing a medium risk of re-conviction, but Judge Simon Newell said he disagreed and added: "It would seem to me there would be a low risk."

Redman, who the judge said he was treating as a man of good character, was ordered to sign the sexual offences register indefinitely.

The defendant, of Roberts Street, was handed a 10-year sexual offences prevention order, banning him from having any unsupervised contact with any female child under 16. Redman, who has also had other jobs, did not work for the bakery firm at the time of the offences.

Prosecutor Mark Savill told the court Redman had put his hand down the girl's pants. His actions made her scared and upset.
Tim Storrie, defending, said the verdicts were a 'personal catastrophe' for Redman.

The hearing was told the victim has suffered psychological problems since the offences. Judge Simon Newell said experts would probably never be able to say whether the difficulties she had were as a direct result of what happened to her or whether there were other contributing factors.

The judge said the offences were serious and damage had been caused.