Saltash man jailed for sex abuse on boy 40 years ago

Truro Crown Court
Image caption Malcolm Down must sign the sex offenders register for the next 10 years

A man who sexually abused a teenage boy more than 40 years ago has been jailed.

Malcom Down, 75, pleaded guilty to three specimen counts of indecent assault on his victim.

Truro Crown Court heard the shame felt by his victim prevented him from reporting the assault until after his mother died last year.

Down, from New Road, Saltash, who was an assistant leader at a youth club at the time, was jailed for 18 months.

'Isolated and lonely'

Prosecutor Llewellyn Sellick said the victim had made a statement saying what happened had had a profound effect on his life.

He said the victim had said that for 41 years he had led an isolated and lonely existence regarding personal relationships.

Defence counsel Siobhan Molloy said Down had been a hard worker throughout his life and also did a lot for local charities.

Stressing he had heart and prostate surgery and was not in good health, she asked that any prison sentence should be suspended.

'Very serious indeed'

Judge John Neligan said: "I acknowledge that by pleading guilty you have saved your victim the further embarrassment of being questioned and cross examined in court, that you have medical problems, have no previous convictions and that people have written in glowing terms about your voluntary work in and around Saltash.

"There is no evidence of you being a significant risk to others, and you have committed no similar offences in the past 40 years."

But he said there had to be "immediate custody" to recognise that sexual offences committed against young teenagers were "very serious indeed".

Down must also sign the sex offenders register for the next 10 years.

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