A 63-year-old man from Pendle who suffers from Parkinson’s Disease has been jailed for five years for grooming a teenage girl and sexually abusing her.
John Franklin, a former man from Brighouse who now lives in Pendle View, Nelson, pleaded guilty to a series of charges relating to his sexual abuse of the youngster, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.
At a court in Halifax, Franklin – who had previous convictions in relation to offences of indecent exposure – was said to have given the girl money as part of the grooming process and allegedly offered her cash for sex which she refused.
Franklin, whose right hand shakes uncontrollably as a result of his Parkinson’s, publicly apologised through his barrister for his “despicable crimes”.
His barrister Adam Birkby conceded that such an apology may seem trite given the circumstances, but he said Franklin was very sorry for what he had done.
Mr Birkby said his client was now a man in utter disgrace who was deeply ashamed of himself.
Franklin pleaded guilty to a series of offences of causing a child to engage in sexual activity and sexual activity with a child.
Judge Jonathan Durhan Hall QC said his guilty pleas had at least saved the complainant from the ordeal of being questioned in court.
The judge said his starting point for sentence had been seven-and-a-half years in jail, but Franklin was entitled to maximum credit for his early guilty pleas so his prison term could be reduced to five years.
Franklin will have to register as a sex offender with the police following his release and he will also be subject to a sexual offences prevention order for the rest of his life.