A disgraced former police officer who sexually abused a seven-year-old girl in Bulwell during the 1970s has been sent to prison for six years.
Alan Martin (71) had denied eight charges of indecently assaulting the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, while babysitting for her at her home.
But he was convicted by a jury last month, and in delivering his sentence at Nottingham Crown Court today (Friday), Judge James Sampson paid tribute to the woman, who is now 44, for her courage in bringing Martin to justice.
He told him: “While you went on to marry and have children and grandchildren, she has been traumatised by her experiences for 36 years, and she is to be praised for coming forward.”
Martin, who was a uniformed constable stationed at Hucknall, as well as Bulwell, committed the offences while off-duty between July 1975 and May 1978.
He resigned from the force in 1978 due to unrelated matters.
Martin was a lodger with the girl’s family. During a three-day trial, it was said that the girl and her brother ‘endured a life that was truly dreadful’.
They were neglected and treated violently by their parents and also ostracised at school.
“It was this that Martin took advantage of,” said Richard Thatcher (prosecuting). “He used the gap in their parenting for his own ends.”
A harrowing DVD recording of the day the woman decided last year to tell the police about the sexual abuse was also shown to the court.
At the sentencing hearing, Adrian Reynolds (defending) said Martin, whose current address is Teesbrook Drive, Wollaton, was ‘a very different man’ to when he committed the offences.
“He has a raft of health problems and has to take a chest of medication,” said Mr Reynolds. “His GP believes he may also be suffering from angina.”
He asked the judge to be ‘as merciful as you can’, pointing out that Martin had not been in any trouble since.
However, the judge explained the sentence would have been ‘significantly higher’ if the offences had been committed today.
“I bear in mind that, for more than 30 years, you have led a blameless life, and there has been no repetition of this behaviour,” Judge Sampson told Martin.
“However, these offences amount to sexual abuse of a girl when she was seven, eight and nine years old.
“She was uncared for, vulnerable and neglected. You left her sore and scared and more isolated than ever before.
“I expect you to serve at least half of the six-year sentence, and you will be placed on the sex offenders’ register.”