January 2009

Sex offender was let off lightly

A CHILD victim of a pensioner jailed for indecent assault said the courts have let him off too lightly.

Lesley Bebbington, of Hayes Drive, in Barnton, has started a 16-month prison sentence after admitting seven counts of indecent assault spanning 15 years.

The 77-year-old also has to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years.

But one of his first victims, now aged 25, said he has not been properly punished.

“I thought when he was sentenced it would be a bit of closure but this is almost worse,” she said.

Bebbington was sentenced at Knutsford Crown Court on January 12.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said: “He continued after me so showed no remorse – it’s worse as time goes on.

“He pleaded guilty before Christmas so he was allowed Christmas at home and he’ll probably be allowed out by next Christmas so it’s no punishment at all.

“It happened so long ago and was brushed under the carpet – I’m glad he was in court but it feels like he’s got away with it. It’s totally disgusting.

“He’s on the sex offenders register but that means nothing.”

She added: “This is a total slap in the face to all of the victims in this case and almost a thumbs up to him.”

But a spokesman for Cheshire Police said the prison sentence was a clear deterrent.

He said: “Lesley Bebbington preyed on vulnerable children, gaining the trust of his victims before subjecting them to sexual assault.

“This conviction sends out a clear message that crimes such as this are dealt with robustly and will not be tolerated.”