Pervert groped sleeping boy

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court

A pervert who molested a 10-year-old boy at his flat in Thornton told police ‘age is just a number’.

Richard Stuchfield, 26, has been jailed for two years after pleading guilty to two counts of sexually assaulting the little boy.

Preston Crown Court heard the child, who can not be named for legal reasons, was asleep at Stuchfield’s flat when he woke to find the defendant touching him.

He told his attacker to stop and went back to sleep, but woke again to find Stuchfield continuing to grope him.

The boy told his mum when she came to collect him from the flat in Briarwood Close, and she immediately phoned Stuchfield to confront him.

Stuchfield denied he had molested the boy and said he had just cuddled him.

He eventually pleaded guilty three days before he was due to stand trial at Preston Crown Court.

In a victim statement, the boy said he had felt anger which he had kept inside and he had been worried about having to give evidence at court.

His school work was affected and he had lost a year of his life when he should have been enjoying life with his friends.

The court heard Stuchfield was questioned by police about what he considered to be an appropriate relationship between an adult and a child, to which he replied: “Age is just a number,”

He could not accept that he could have caused any harm or upset to the child he abused.

Judge James Adkin, sentencing, said: “You have little empathy or understanding of what you did or how harmful it can be to a child to commit a sexual offence against them.

“I do not accept you crept into bed with this child because you felt sorry for him and you accidentally touched him.”

He made Stuchfield the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and placed him on the barred list prohibiting him from working with children or vulnerable adults upon his release from prison.