A MAN convicted of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl in Malta has been jailed for almost five years.
Paul Stuart Gorman, 61, “lavished attention” on the girl as he groomed her over a lengthy period after meeting her on the island, Carlisle Crown Court heard.
Gorman denied one charge of assault but was found guilty by a jury following a trial.
Prosecutor Francis McEntee told today’s sentencing hearing the offence – committed during 2016 or 2017 – featured “almost archetypal grooming”, Gorman having told the girl: “Come and see some kittens.”
Gorman, a father to six sons and a grandfather who previously served in the Armed Forces, then sexually assaulted his victim while the pair were alone.
Julie Taylor, for Gorman, said it had been a “relatively short-lived” and one-off offence. He had received a 30-month jail term in 1997 for a previous indecent assault on a girl aged under 16. Miss Taylor said he was now a man with “significant health difficulties”.
Judge Simon Medland QC jailed Gorman for four years and nine months, and outlined his grooming tactics.
“You spoke of a girl you knew, of about (the victim’s) age, who could be a friend to her. This fact I am sure was a calculated invention designed to make her feel comfortable in your company,” said Judge Medland. “You also spoke of a puppy and kittens – things designed to appeal to her.”
“I am sure in my mind that from the first moment you met the girl, you viewed her as a possible sexual conquest,” the judge told Gorman: “This was a deliberate and calculated sexual assault which arose after a long period of grooming by you.”
Gorman, reported previously to have addresses on Malta and at Empress Drive, North Shore, Blackpool, was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for life.