Former bus driver jailed over assaults

Chelmsford Crown Court
Chelmsford Crown Court
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A former Blackpool bus driver is starting a three-year jail sentence after being convicted of sex assaults on a young girl 25 years ago.

Graham Ablett, 48, had denied two offences of indecently assaulting a girl under the age of nine between 1988 and 1993.

But a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court convicted him in November.

And Ablett has now been jailed by a judge at Chelmsford for three years.

He was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.

The court heard that Ablett, who ran his own driving instructor business in Blackpool before becoming a bus driver with Blackpool Transport, still denied the allegations and claimed the victim, now a 31-year-old wife and mother, was lying.

Judge David Turner QC told Ablett: “The victim has carried the burden of anxiety about your misbehaviour for too long.

“It was clear to me during the trial that she was still emotionally affected as she recalled these thoroughly unpleasant events, which you continue to deny.”

The judge described Ablett as “controlling and manipulative”.

The offences happened when he was in his early 20s, the court was told. They occurred in Basildon, Essex.

Ablett, who had lived in Blackpool for many years until December, resigned his job with Blackpool Transport after his conviction.

His relationship with a partner and her family had also recently come to an end.

He is a single man but does have children with two previous women partners.

He has no previous convictions.

Defending, Justine Davidge, said there had been no concerns about Ablett, now of Llys Alwen, Rhyl, Denbighshire, coming into contact with children either before or since these allegations.

She said he was well thought of and respected by those who knew him.

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