War veteran, 91, carried out three-year campaign of sexual abuse against girl

A NINETY one-year-old Second World War veteran who subjected a young girl to a three year campaign of sexual abuse has been jailed.

Herbert Hayman was locked up for 15 months at Southampton Crown Court after he admitted sexually touching his victim in the 1990s, beginning when the girl was just eight.

Sentencing him on Monday, Judge Nicholas Rowland admitted difficulty in imposing a prison term on the war veteran, due to his age.

But he said that his the offences were “too serious” for Hayman to avoid a custodial sentence, even at 91 years old.

He said: “You were a man who was of previous good character, and you are a veteran, having served your country in the Second World War.

”You are 91-years-old now and I appreciate and accept what has been said both in court and in your pre-sentence report about your deteriorating mental state.

“But these are serious offences for which a custodial sentence can be imposed.”

He added: “These incidents had a distressing affect on her (the victim) both in her past and continue to impact her now.”

The court heard how the indecent assaults took place between 1995 and 1998.

Prosecuting, Mr Martin told the court that Hayman claimed the girl was “sexualised” and had prompted him into the acts.

In mitigation, Gemma White said Hayman had been having suicidal thoughts.

This included an incident just days before his sentencing, in which he turned up to his son’s house threatening to overdose on prescription medication.

Ms White also said that Hayman was aware of the “serious nature” of his crimes and had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

She asked Judge Rowland to consider not jailing Hayman, due to his age and the historic nature of the crimes.

But Judge Rowland sentenced him to two 15 month concurrent terms for indecent assault and Hayman was given a further six months, also concurrent, for another indecent assault, meaning a total sentence of 15 months.

He will also have to sign the sex offenders register for 10 years.