The distraught father of an eight-year-old boy who was molested as he played outside today criticised a judge’s decision to allow the sex attacker to walk free.
The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his son, says his boy can no longer sleep without the light on, has become aggressive and is getting into fights at home and at school since the incident on March 5.
He spoke out after Keith Simpson was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for two years, for sexually assaulting the boy while he played with his younger brother in an alleyway off Bloomfield Road, South Shore.
Simpson, 39, has learning difficulties, and was said to have grabbed the child from behind before sexually assaulting him.
The boy’s father said: “[Our son] came straight in and told us what had happened so we could call police. Another child might have shrugged it off. We would have liked to have seen Simpson serve time in prison for what he has done. I know the court will have done what it sees fit, but what it was one of their children? It does seem lenient.”
Simpson, of Caunce Street, Blackpool, was also given a two year supervision order and was ordered to sign the Sexual Offenders’ Register for seven years at Burnley Crown Court.
Simpson denied the charge, but was found guilty following a trial at Preston Crown Court.
The boy’s father said: “He doesn’t seem to be himself after what happened – it’s changed him.
“At first he was quiet and he wouldn’t sleep in his own bed.
“After maybe two months we got him back into his room, but he still sleeps with the light on.
“About four months ago he started to become aggressive and punching walls, and he’s been getting into fights in the playground and at home with his brothers. I just hope he can get past this, and start to put it at the back of his head.”
Judge Simon Newell (pictured above) told Simpson: “If you start messing about with any little boys again, or do anything else like that again, you will go to prison for six months.”
A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “This was a serious offence carried out on a young boy who was left traumatised by what happened to him.
“I am satisfied that Simpson has been convicted of this offence and I would reassure people that we always take any report of sexual offences extremely seriously.
“Anyone who has been the victim of a sexual offence should feel confident in coming forward to police safe in the knowledge they will be dealt with professionally and sensitively.”