73-year-old man from Barton Mills could face jail after admitting indecent assault 35 years ago

Court report
Court report
0
Have your say

A 73-year-old man who pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting a teenage girl 35 years ago could face jail.

In addition to the offence he admitted, Reginald Pike also faced a rape charge and three charges of gross indecency.

However, after his guilty plea to the indecent assault the other charges were left on the court file.

Pike, of Wiggin Close, Barton Mills, was accused of committing the offences in 1979 when the victim was around 16. He had been facing a trial expected to last up to three days next month.

But, in a surprise move at Chelmsford Crown Court today following a letter written to him by the victim saying she wanted to ‘forgive and forget’ he pleaded guilty to the one offence.

Jo Eley, mitigating, urging that there should be a pre-sentence report, said: “The real possibility is he will receive an immediate custodial sentence and I would like the court to consider all sentencing options.”

However, Judge Christopher Ball QC, who adjourned sentencing until March 5, refused to request a probation report. “I don’t think this is a case where probation would make any difference,” he said, adding that a mitigation plea by Pike’s lawyers would be sufficient.

Prosecutor Greg Perrins, told the judge that the prosecution wanted to talk to the victim about the defendant’s basis of plea.

He has alleged that she initiated the incident which took place in a car.

Mr Perrins continued: “It’s a somewhat unusual case.

“The victim has been sectioned under the Mental Health Act but can still give her view.”

He added : “She wrote to him last year saying ‘I want to forgive and forget,’ and the prosecution carried out an investigation about her.

“It’s very unlikely she could give evidence.”

Pike was granted unconditional bail by Judge Ball until the sentencing hearing.