80-year-old Brian Powell from Chantry in Ipswich jailed for 54 months for sex offences on two children

Brian Powell

Brian Powell - Credit: Archant

An 80-year-old man from the Chantry area of Ipswich is behind bars today after pleading guilty to a string of child sex offences involving two girls.

Brian Powell, of Swallow Road, was imprisoned for four years and six months at his Ipswich Crown Court sentencing.

Judge John Devaux said there was evidence Powell had exhibited grooming behaviour and it was clear there had been some psychological harm to at least one of the girls due to his actions.

Although Powell had accepted his guilt, the judge added: “I’m also told you have trouble in facing up to what you have done, that’s clear from what you told the probation officer”. Judge Devaux also told Powell: “Although you are described as posing a high risk of serious harm to female children, it seems to the court that the risk can be curbed by the ancillary orders I shall make.”

Powell was made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order to run indefinitely.

The judge said in all probability this would be for the rest of the 80-year-old’s life. Powell must also sign the sex offenders’ register for life. Earlier in mitigation, Powell’s counsel, Gareth Hughes, told the court: “He is preparing himself for a sentence of imprisonment today.

“He is starting to recognise the enormity of these offences. He is somebody who has led a law-abiding life. He knows a prison sentence is going to be difficult for him, but he will cope, no doubt.

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“He accepts he brought this on himself and it will have an impact on others.”

In addition to his victims, it was said Powell’s crimes would have a profound effect on his wife of 57 years who is in poor health and for whom he was carer. Prosecutor Martyn Levett said when police had questioned Powell on two occasions following his arrest in March last year he gave ‘no comment’ interviews.

Powell had been due to stand trial, but changed his plea to guilty to six offences at a hearing on October 20.

These included three counts of assaulting a girl under 13 and one of inciting a girl under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity.

He also admitted two offences of sexual activity with a child. The sex assaults took place between 2004 and 2013.