August 2019

Grantham man jailed for sexually abusing under-age girls

A Grantham man has been jailed for six years after he admitted sexually abusing two under-age girls 30 years ago.

Steven Ashbury, aged 63, of Dysart Road, Grantham, appeared at Worcester Crown Court where he admitted eight counts of indecent assault of a girl under 14 and five counts of inciting another under 14 to commit an act of gross indecency.

The offences took place between July 15, 1988, and July 14, 1989, in Worcestershire.

Prosecutor Andrew Wilkins read out statements made by the two victims.

The court heard graphic details about the “appalling” abuse committed by Ashbury.

Mr Wilkins said that certain acts “went on for about 10 months, about two to three times a week.”

The court heard that during his interview last year, Ashbury admitted to touching and performing sexual acts on the two girls.

He said he was “unsure about how many times it happened”.

Judge Jim Tindal said: “This is an unusual case of a very early guilty plea.”

In sentencing, Judge Tindal said: “Apologies are rare, but what is not rare is the catastrophic affect this has on young people. It casts a shadow on the lives of those affected.

“It’s only now through this process that you have faced up to what you did and the damage that you caused.”

The court heard that the abuse affected one of the girls’ time at school and she experiences flashbacks, and that one “took up drinking which led to dependency and depression.”

It was also heard that the victims were “spared the ordeal of a trial” following Mr Ashbury’s interview and guilty plea.

Addressing the victims, who were present in the public gallery, Judge Tindal said: “You have been brave in coming forward. Thank you for your patience and respect.”

Ashbury was also given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and has been put on the sex offenders register indefinitely.