Child-groping pensioner is sent to prison

Jailed - Joseph Chisnall
Jailed - Joseph Chisnall

A WIGAN pensioner who sexually molested a boy and girl more than a decade ago has been jailed for 15 months.

Joseph Chisnall had admitted two offences of indecent assault but a judge said that he did not believe the defendant actually accepted that he had committed the crimes.

As the 79-year-old was led to the cells he stopped, glared over at the two victims, now adults, in the public gallery and mouthed abuse.

He had originally faced seven charges of indecent assault but five were dropped after he admitted the other two.

Chisnall, of Dryden Avenue, Ashton, was arrested after the two victims, who had not known at the time of the offences that the other had also been abused, went to his home to confront him.

A poignant videoed audio recording was played to the court in which Chisnall denied their claims and his distressed male victim told him how he had self-harmed and made suicide attempts because of the effects of his offending.

Judge David Aubrey, QC, told Chisnall that they had not wanted to go to the police but decided to do so after that confrontation though they still did not demand vengeance with a jail sentence.

“You posed the question to your victims, ‘what do you want me to say?’. In the court’s judgement that was a very arrogant question asked because you knew full well what they wanted you to say. They wanted you to say, ‘I’m sorry, I recognise my wrong-doing’,” he said.

He said that a pre-sentence report showed he remains in denial and disputed sexualised behaviour. “You showed no victim empathy. It is ironic because your victims have throughout these proceeding displayed empathy to you.”

The judge ordered him to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years.

Tom Watson, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court that when the boy was seven or eight Chisnall sexually abused him after putting his hand down the front of his shorts.

The other offence involved him leaning the 12-year-old girl over a work bench and molesting her.

In an impact statement the male victim told how the incident later caused him to question his sexuality and caused relationship problems.

The other victim, who had also never told anyone of her ordeal, said that she had had relationship difficulties as a result of what happened to her.

Patrick Williamson, defending, said that Chisnall had not offended before or since the incidents.

He pointed out his age and hard working background and asked him to suspend any jail sentence.