Pervert avoids jail 30 years after assaulting girl
A PERVERT who indecently assaulted a girl more than 30 years ago has been handed a suspended jail sentence.
Geoffrey Cartlidge, who has no previous convictions, indecently assaulted a teenage girl under the age of 16 in the 1970s.
Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court yesterday heard Cartlidge was in his 20s at the time and his victim was still at school.
The victim had made disclosures about her ordeal over the years but was not believed.
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But Cartlidge, aged 58, of Roman Drive, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to indecent assault on the day of his trial.
The plea was tended on a basis it happened on a single occasion.
Catherine O'Reilly, mitigating, said Cartlidge had accepted his guilt.
She added: "It is an isolated incident of some age. He fully accepts his guilt.
"There have been enormous repercussions including the loss of his job."
Judge Paul Glenn said the victim had been significantly affected over the intervening years.
But he said the risk of Cartlidge re-offending was low.
The judge sentenced Cartlidge to 10 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, with 12 months supervision and 180 hours unpaid work.
The defendant was also banned from working with children and will be on the sex offenders' register for seven years. And he must pay £1,800 costs.
Judge Glenn, pictured, said: "You knew her age and you were an adult. What occurred was highly unpleasant. It affected her significantly over the intervening years.
"You are a married man. I do not see any real remorse. You claim you were provoked. I remind you, she was a child and you were an adult."
Judge Glenn added: "What you did would now be charged with sexual assault."
Following yesterday's sentence, a Staffordshire Police spokesman said: "Staffordshire Police are committed to protecting vulnerable people and work very closely with partners to tackle sexual crime.
"Even if the abuse happened decades ago, we will thoroughly investigate allegations, gathering evidence against offenders to put them before the courts and bring them to justice."
Anyone who wants to speak to police about historical sexual abuse can call 101.