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JAILED: Child abuser, 72, convicted of offences dating back almost 50 years

The 22-year-old man from Lancashire, who cannot be named for legal reasons, breached the Public Order Act 1986 in using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour in two speeches he gave.
The 22-year-old man from Lancashire, who cannot be named for legal reasons, breached the Public Order Act 1986 in using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour in two speeches he gave.

A paedophile convicted of child abuse offences up to 50 years ago has been jailed.

Andrew Catlin, 72, of Jem Gate, Cleveleys, was sentenced to six years and eight months, plus another two years on extended licence, for 23 offences of indecent assault on a girl under 14.

He was also given an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order and will be on the Sex Offender’s Register for life.

A spokesman for the NSPCC said: “Catlin is behind bars for appalling abuse committed decades ago and we hope the fact that justice has now been served brings some comfort to his victims.

“He may have thought he had got away with his crimes but this case highlights, once again, that victims will be listened to and perpetrators brought to justice no matter how much time has passed since the offences.”

The Gazette told last month how Catlin had to be assisted at Preston Crown Court to enter his pleas.

The married dad-of-four, who reportedly ran a local business, admitted five specimen counts of indecently assaulting a youngster on at least three occasions.

The charges cover a period dating from 1969 into the 1970s.

Catlin, who has four grandchildren, also admitted eight charges of indecent assault in relation to a second girl.

Julie Taylor, defending, asked for permission to stand with him as he entered his pleas, adding: “He is rather nervous and wants to make sure he pleads to the correct counts.”

The children were aged as young as seven and five at the time of the offences.

He entered a string of not guilty pleas to allegations he had assaulted the first girl in a swimming pool and a bathroom, which were accepted by the court.

After entering his pleas, Catlin, who wore a dark coat, dabbed his eyes with a hanky and sat down in the dock.

Judge Sara Dodd had adjourned his sentencing, but warned him “a significant custodial sentence is inevitable in this case.”

nFor help and support children can contact ChildLine 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 0800 1111 or by visiting www.childline.org.uk.

Adults with concerns about a child can contact the NSPCC helpline in confidence, 24 hours a day seven days a week, on 0800 808 5000 or via help@nspcc.org.uk.