Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 13°C


Haverhill/Ipswich: 94-year-old Frederick Smith, the oldest child sex offender to be jailed in the UK, is sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment

09:37 13 June 2014

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court


A 94-year-old man who sexually abused a schoolgirl is believed to be the oldest sex offender to be jailed in the UK after a judge sentenced him to 12 months for his “vile crimes” committed four decades ago,


Frederick Smith, who uses a walking frame, was accompanied to Ipswich Crown Court from his Suffolk care home for his sentencing hearing by a carer and a social worker and was taken from court to begin his sentence at Norwich prison in a wheelchair.

Smith, who formerly worked for Premier Travel in Haverhill, admitted four offences of indecent assault between 1972-1982 and one offence of indecency with a child between 1972-76 at an earlier hearing. Sentence was adjourned until yesterday to see if the prison service could accommodate his “extensive personal needs”.

Sentencing Smith, of Place Court Care Home in Camps Road, Haverhill, Judge David Goodin described his offences as “vile”.

“As frail as you are, bent over your Zimmer frame, justice cries out that you be sent to prison for your crimes,” he said, adding that Smith’s sex crimes had a “devastating and lasting” effect on his victim.

He said medical reports showed that for his age Smith “wasn’t in bad shape”.

“You need help with stairs, bathing and dressing but otherwise your memory is not bad and you can communicate clearly,” he added.

“This court is not in the business of passing cruel, degrading and inhumane sentences but to prison you must go,” Judge Goodin said.

“I’m told you have become depressed and withdrawn and I’m inclined to the view that at the age of 94 your remorse for what you have done is real.”

Hugh Vass, prosecuting, said the victim made a statement to police in July 2013.

She described being sexually assaulted by Smith in a shack used by by bus drivers for refreshment breaks.

Smith had got the schoolgirl to sit next to him and then touched her between the legs when one of his colleagues briefly left the room.

She said Smith had sexually assaulted her on a number of occasions over a period of years and she had feared he would kill her if she said anything.

On one occasion she saw him in his garden and when she threatened to reveal what he had done to her he had thrown a pair of garden shears at her, narrowly missing her.

Smith had also sexually abused her while giving her a lift in his car and had got her to perform sex acts on him.

Joanne Eley, for Smith, said he was deeply remorseful and regretted what he had done, adding: “He feels dirty and ashamed.”

She said that Smith had asked her to tell the court he knew he had done “bad things” and was “very, very sorry”.



Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Mr Kathirithamby, the premises licence holder and director of KVS Food and Wine Ltd, in Bramford Road, was fined £803 and had his personal licence revoked after pleading guilty to selling alcohol to  children

An Ipswich man has pleaded guilty to selling alcohol to children from his shop.

The homeless in Ipswich tuck in to a hot meal at the Ipswich Winter Night Shelter. Photograph Simon Parker

The Ipswich Winter Night Shelter has launched a drive for volunteers ahead of opening its doors on December 2.

Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central

A major conference aimed at pushing ahead with dramatic changes to Ipswich town centre is to be held at the end of this month.

The Northgate High School team competing at a regional heat in Ford Dunton

Northgate High School pupils are preparing for a grand prix experience as they compete in the finals of the Greenpower International Kit Car competition.

Work is being stepped up at hospitals in Suffolk and north Essex to deal with “bed blocking” after new figures revealed more than 38,000 “bed days” have been lost because of the issue since 2012.

The area in Clarkson Street where two gangs fought on September 23

An Ipswich mother-of-two has told of how she was left terrified after getting caught up in the middle of fighting between groups of young men wielding bricks, lumps of wood and an axe.

Sharon Halls and Daniel Compton's baby, Evie

The mother of a premature baby born 12 weeks early in the Dominican Republic has said they are not expecting to travel home before December.

Nick Alston, Essex Police & Crime Commissioner.

Up to 15 police stations in Essex could be axed as the county’s force admits its property estate is “haemorrhaging money”.

Motorists were sent on a diversion nearly 30miles (47.7km) long

We all bemoan the diversions which close the highways and byways of Suffolk when roadworks are set up.

The Orwell Bridge

There have been a number of crashes on the county’s roads this morning.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages