Child abuser jailed

AN Ipswich judge said he was not surprised a man who sexually abused a five-year-old girl was being bullied and indecently assaulted in prison.Judge John Holt heard that Elvis Catling, 42, of Beccles, had threatened suicide if he was sent to prison for committing indecent assault and gross indecency on the young child.

AN Ipswich judge said he was not surprised a man who sexually abused a five-year-old girl was being bullied and indecently assaulted in prison.

Judge John Holt heard that Elvis Catling, 42, of Beccles, had threatened suicide if he was sent to prison for committing indecent assault and gross indecency on the young child.

Judge Holt said: "I have to put out of my mind what he may choose to do after I sentence him. It may sound harsh, but I have to do that."

Ashley Thain, mitigating at Ipswich Crown Court, said her client wished her to express his fears of jail.

"Since he has been at Norwich prison on remand, he has been subjected to bullying and sexual abuse himself," she added.

Judge Holt said: "I regret that it does not surprise me but I cannot take that into account."

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The court heard that Catling, of Ellough Road, denied the two allegations but was convicted by a jury in January this year. The court heard that Catling had a previous conviction for unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old when he was 19.

Ms Thain said Catling had been bullied and sexually abused as a child and had a low intellectual level which showed in his immaturity.

Judge Holt said Catling's paedophiliac behaviour had resulted in him "grooming and abusing" a child. "You make them believe you love them and would do them no harm," he said.

Judge Holt said the five-year-old girl continued to suffer physical discomfort since the abuse. He added: "She may also have suffered long term psychological effects of her terrible memories of what you did to her and you frightened her into not telling."

Judge Holt said although prison would be "harsh and traumatic" for Catling, there was no treatment expected to reform him, so a term in custody was hoped to act as a deterrent.

Catling was jailed for 30 months and put on an extended licence for 10 years.

He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders' register for life.

Judge Holt said Catling would be released after about 15 months but could be ordered to serve the remaining 15 months if he re-offended during the following 10 years.

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