Convicted flasher who preyed on eight-year-old girl jailed for five years

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court
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A convicted flasher who performed a sex act in front of an eight year old girl on several occasions has been jailed for five years.

Norman Astbury, 59, of Devonshire Road, Blackpool, was convicted of three counts engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child after a four-day trial at Preston Crown Court.

The court was told he had started to perform acts on himself in front of the youngster more than a decade ago, when she was eight, but she only felt able to report the matter when she was 15.

In that time her family learned the delivery driver was already convicted of sexual offences against a child, and exposing himself.

In a statement, the victim, who is now a mother, said she felt ‘disgusted and ashamed’, and had tried to take her life.

She said: “The impact of the abuse has had a devastating effect on all aspects of my life.

“I find it hard to live a normal life. From the moment I wake up I have to face the reality of my past.

“I’m traumatised by him, not only when I’m awake but when I’m asleep.

“My nightmares are so bad I dread going to sleep. There’s no way to get away from it. The look he used to give me still haunts me. I can’t see myself ever being happy.”

She added she was ‘way too overprotective’ of her young daughter and was terrified something similar may happen to her.

Prosecuting, Katie Jones said the charges covered a period of time when she was aged between eight and nine.

Defending, Clare Ashcroft said it would be his first jail term, that he would lose his job and find it difficult to integrate himself into society on his release.

Judge Jacqueline Beech said in front of others Astbury had behaved in a ‘caring way so no-one would know the true reality of what was going on’.

She added: “The first time that you behaved in what she described as a weird way was when she was eight.

“She didn’t tell anyone because she was scared and in her words ‘freaked out’ by what she had seen. Thereafter you performed acts in front of her on a regular basis.”

She imposed a restraining order and a sexual harm prevention order banning him having contact with any female child under 16, unless subject to strict conditions.

He will be on the sex offender’s register for life.