June 2019

Armed forces veteran, 83, jailed for child sexual abuse

An 83-year-old armed forces veteran has been jailed for 18 months for the historical sexual abuse of a boy around 40 years ago.

The paedophile’s victim, aged under 16 at the time, said the abuse suffered was “unforgettable” and “unforgivable”.

William Bushby, now of Monger’s Mead in Barcombe, sexually abused the child in the late 1970s and early 1980s while living in Pirbright.

The incidents were not reported to Surrey Police at the time.

In an impact statement read out at Bushby’s sentencing hearing on Tuesday (June 4), his victim also said “the impact this has had on my sexual fulfilment has been devastating and horrible” in the decades since the abuse took place.

Reading the statement at Guildford Crown Court, prosecutor Ahmed Hossain continued: “I want him [Bushby] to know what effect his acts have had on me all my life.

“His behaviour was unforgettable, I will never forget. His behaviour was unforgivable.”

Bushby was convicted by a jury in April after denying eight counts of indecent assault on a person under 16, with some of these referring to the touching of the child’s genitalia and to kissing on the mouth.

He also groomed his victim by buying them gifts.

Mitigating, defence counsel Daniel Frier told Judge Robert Fraser that Bushby had served in the armed forces for 15 years and had worked in the civil service for the rest of his career.

A starting point of three years was initially reduced by Judge Fraser to reflect the fact that Bushby was charged with an old offence of indecent assault under the Sexual Offences Act 1956, for which sentencing guidelines did not exist.

Bushby then had his sentence further reduced by another six months to take into account the impact of custody on his health.

A barring order was also made prohibiting him from working with children, but no sexual harm prevention order was made.

He will serve half of his sentence in prison before being released on licence.