April 2012

Sexual predator Martin Irwin jailed for abuse

A sexual predator who abused young girls over two decades has been jailed for 17 years.

Martin Irwin, of Cobham Street, Gravesend, was described by a judge at Canterbury Crown Court as a “significant” danger to children.

The 46-year-old sexually assaulted the victims in a campaign of abuse stretching back to 1990.

Judge Simon James told Irwin: “You moved from victim to victim.

“You have shown absolutely no remorse or any insight into the pain and suffering you have caused.

“You stole their innocence over a systematic and planned abuse causing emotional scars that may never heal.

“I can only hope some relief will be found by your victims now.”

Irwin was convicted of five indecent assaults, four indecent assaults on a child under 13 by penetration, one indecent assault on a child under 13 and two charges of sexual activity with a child.

Irwin stood emotionless in the dock as Judge James told him: “You are a man who poses a significant risk of serious harm. You accept no responsibility for your offending whatsoever.

“You currently pose a danger to children.”

Heather Stangoe, prosecuting, told the court Irwin’s offending only came to light when his victims reported him to police after keeping their silence for several years.

Judge James told Irwin he will never be able to work with children and placed him on the sex offenders’ register.

Time he has already spent in custody on remand – 347 days – will be reduced from his sentence. He will serve half of his 17-year sentence before being considered for parole.

Irwin was convicted of the 12 offences by a jury after a trial last month.

He was acquitted of a charge of taking an indecent picture of a child and one charge of sexual activity with a child.