A PERVERTED pensioner who groped a schoolgirl and kept child pornography at his Stacksteads home has walked free from court.

Burnley Crown Court heard how Ray Bogart, 72, made a computer image of a naked woman with the 11-year old sex assault victim's head on it.

Police found photographs of girls, most of whom appeared to be under 16 and some as young as 10, in indecent poses, sometimes on their own, sometimes with other young girls and often with adults in various sexual positions.

Bogart, a grandfather of 13, said to be suffering chronic ill health and described by a medic as a "frail old man," escaped a jail term - but was banned from being in the company of children alone.

Judge Raymond Bennett said he had read letters from parents whose daughters had visited the defendant at his home and who were surprised by the allegation as "nothing untoward" had been reported by their children.

He added had the parents known what sort of images he had downloaded on his computer and thought they were their youngsters, they may take a different view of their offspring visiting Bogart's house on their own.

Bogart, of Bankfield Street, Stacksteads, was put on probation for three years after admitting indecent assault.

He must not be alone in his home with any child under the age of 16, unless accompanied by a responsible adult over 21, who is not his wife.

Gordon Hennell, prosecuting, said last December police searched Bogart's home in connection with child pornography. In an upstairs study were a number of computer discs and printed images featuring children in indecent poses. Further inquiries began and three children were interviewed.

The 11-year-old said she and two others, who were not related to Bogart, visited Bogart two or three times a week. He allowed the girls to play on his computer and at first the youngsters thought he was really nice.

They then began to think he was a bit "pervish." Bogart would talk to them about sexual matters, told them he was a doctor and discussed aspects of puberty.

Mr Hennell said one of the girls told how the defendant had a computer picture of the 11-year-old, with her head on a naked frontal image. When Bogart was arrested, he admitted the general images were taken off a computer disc given to him by somebody who had taken them from the Internet.

Anthony Cross, defending, said Bogart had a problem and the offence was isolated. He had been able to keep the problem under control but lost it on this occasion.

Bogart engaged in "smutty talk" with the girls, which a man of his age should not have.

He had a qualification as a doctor from the University of Damascus.

Bogart had already suffered from his behaviour with his home being targeted.

Converted for the new archive on 14 July 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.