AN elderly man has been jailed for nine years after being found guilty of indecently assaulting a five-year-old girl in the early 2000s.

George Hall, 70, of Church Road in Old Windsor, was charged with of one count of indecent assault and two counts of gross indecency between September 1, 1998, and September 1, 2001.

The incidents happened in Old Windsor when the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was aged between five and six.

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The now adult woman reported the incidents to the police in August 2020 after seeing the defendant walk past her place of work, causing her to have a panic attack.

On Thursday (May 25), Hall was jailed for nine years by a judge at Reading Crown Court.

A victim impact statement was read in brief during the hearing by the prosecution.

It read: “When she was a child her reaction to touching and others was defined by how the defendant treated her…it has defined her relationships in her life and she never felt safe around boys and men.

“She thought it was somehow her fault that she had been taken advantage of and she now knows it wasn’t her fault but it was the defendant’s.

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“She never felt happy in herself and she was a sad child and she speaks about things she did in relation to that sadness and taking actions against herself of a serious nature.”

Defending Hall, his barrister said he is a man of a previous good character who is in poor physical health.

She said: “He’s a man of good character in reference to letters from his neighbours. There are a number of people who have expressed surprised at these offences as Mr Hall does nothing but help people out.

“He does have mental health issues and was involved in the crisis team during trial and is still involved with them now.”

Judge Kirsty Real sentenced Hall to eight years imprisonment with an additional one year on licence. He received two six-year concurrent sentences for the two counts of gross indecency.

He will serve two thirds of his sentence before being referred to a parole board for release.

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Judge Real said: “You maintain denial of these offences at the moment which is not uncommon. It doesn’t increase your sentence in any way.”

Hall will be on the sex register for life and is barred from working with children and vulnerable adults.