Peterborough pensioner avoids heavy punishment after sexual assault conviction

A pensioner convicted of sexual assault has avoided heavy punishment after a judge heard he was suffering from the early onset of dementia.

John Mcauliffe (78) of Hartwell Court, Ravensthorpe, received a two year conditional discharge at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court today after being convicted at a previous hearing.

Peterborough Magistrates' Court ENGEMN00120130116184112

Peterborough Magistrates' Court ENGEMN00120130116184112

The order means he will not face further punishment for the charge unless a further offence is committed over the next 24 months.

The court heard how Mcauliffe, who had previously served in the army, had no previous convictions.

Kashif Khan, defending, said: “Early onset dementia is the reason why he is behaving in an unusual way. This is a person who has never been in trouble before. He has an unblemished record and served in the army for six years.”

He said Mcauliffe, who had suffered a decline in his mental health, had learned his lesson and that “this was not going to happen again”. He added that his condition means he “does not go out as much”.

District Judge Ken Sheraton imposed the conditional discharge and also ordered Mcauliffe to pay £100 compensation to his victim, £625 in costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

He told Mcauliffe that the “unusual” sentence for the offence was a result of him receiving advice from the Probation Service and from reading a psychiatric assessment.

He added: “Whilst no punishment has been imposed today, if you are back before the court for any offence over the next two years theses offences will be dealt with again.”