Paedophile sentenced to ‘die in prison’

Kenneth Holmes, 81, of Great Barn Street, Bridlington.
Kenneth Holmes, 81, of Great Barn Street, Bridlington.

A paedophile who stole the childhood of two schoolgirls in Bridlington has been jailed for 12 years and told by a judge he may die in prison.

Kenneth Holmes, 82, was given an extra four years after a second victim came forward after her mother read in the Bridlington Free Press that Holmes was under investigation for rape.

Holmes, of Great Barn Street, Bridlington, appeared for sentence at Hull Crown Court after pleading guilty to specimen counts of penetration and specimen charges of sexual touching on two young schoolgirls.

Crown barrister Megan Rhys said one girl knew how old she was when she was sexually assaulted because she was wearing a Tinkerbell nightie. She said Holmes told her it was normal and he “was preparing her for the future.” He warned her about telling others.

“She realised it was not right and tried to pull away,” said Ms Rhys. “She got to the point she was unable to cope and told her best friend. Both girls told her teacher, as a result of that it was reported to the police.”

Ms Rhys said an article in the Free Press about Holmes’ arrest led a mother to ask her daughter if he had ever touched her. She said he had done it twice.

In a victim impact statement, the father of the first girl said: “She has been very brave. It hurts to see her struggle with her emotions and feelings on a daily basis. We have had to get help for her. He has taken her childhood away and she has lost her self respect. What he has done is totally unforgivable. The only way to protect children is to lock him away.” The mother of the second victim said in a victim statement: “My daughter only came forward because she wanted to stop him doing what he has done again. Her confidence has disappeared. She is emotional and moody. She was already lacking in confidence, this has dented it further. She is now frightened of men, especially old men. Her innocent childhood has been taken away from her.”

Defence barrister Jeremy Lindsay said: “It is impossible to deal with pain and trauma for the family in a case like this. The defendant had the good sense to enter guilty pleas. The victims have not had to relive the trauma of the events they have suffered. Their truthfulness has not been put in question. He was a man of good character. He knows that counts for very little. The remorse comes from his guilty pleas.” Mr Lindsay said Holmes suffers from several medical conditions. Mr Lindsay said: “It seems certain any sentence is likely to result in him dying in prison.”

Judge Mark Bury told Holmes: “You are 82, you have no previous conviction but you fall to be sentenced for some very serious offences against two children.

Reading from the victim impact statement of one father he said: “What has happened has had a huge effect. Her mother and my role have changed completely. It hurts so much. She finds it hard to talk to people. You have taken her childhood away from her. She has lost her self respect.”

Judge Bury said: “In my judgment that is evidence of severe psychological harm.”

He ordered Holmes should be jailed for eight years for the offences on the first girl with a four-year consecutive sentence being imposed for offences against the second girl.