Families of sex abuse victims cheer jail term

Herald Series: Alan Steer was found guilty of indecency Alan Steer was found guilty of indecency

THE husband of a woman sexually abused when she was a young girl has said his family was happy to see the man responsible jailed for five years.

Defendant Alan Steer, of Campion Way, Abingdon, has been convicted of three counts of indecency with a child and two counts of sexual assault dating back to the 1970s.

The 77-year-old committed the offences against two girls aged between eight and 11, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

He denied the charges but was found guilty of the five counts by a jury after a five-day trial at Oxford Crown Court.

Steer was acquitted on a further five counts of indecency with a child and five counts of indecent assault.

The jury could not reach a verdict on one count of indecent assault.

On Thursday Judge Patrick Eccles sentenced the pensioner to five years in prison which drew cheers from family members of the victims in the public gallery.

Speaking after the hearing, the husband of one of the victims said: “We are happy with the sentence.

“He didn’t take responsibility for what he did in the trial, he has shown no remorse, and he got what he deserved.”

Passing sentence Judge Eccles told Steer that what he did affected the lives of his victims for years after the abuse had ended.

He told him: “All of these offences were committed by you when the victims were at most 11 years of age, 30 to 35 years ago.

“You have caused them great anguish over many years and it required incredible courage on their part to speak publicly about the memories of things which happened to them many years ago.

“I have read statements from both of them and it is plain that they still suffer from panic attacks, flash backs, low moods, depression, and a feeling that this has been with them all of their childhoods and adult lives.”

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Judge Eccles said he took account of the defendant’s lack of previous convictions, letters of praise from people who knew him and his history of providing for his family.

But he added: “All that pales into insignificance compared to the harm that you caused all those years ago.”

Steer has now had to sign the sex offenders register but Judge Eccles said he would not make a sexual offences prevention order because of the defendant’s age.

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