LOCK HIM UP
A judge has sentenced Albany man Kenneth Norman to eight years in prison for planned and premeditated sexual assaults on young girls dating back to the 1970s.
An elderly Albany sex predator who preyed on eight girls over more than a decade in the 1970s and 80s will spend at least the next six years in prison.
Wealthy and well-known electrician Kenneth Ernest Norman was yesterday jailed for a total of eight years and eight months by a District Court judge for what he described as the planned and premeditated assaults on the daughters of his friends.
Norman, who will turn 80 next month, had spent the previous two nights behind bars awaiting his sentencing.
Judge Mark Herron decided he will be at least 86 before he can be considered for release, after being found guilty of a dozen charges against eight different victims following an emotional District Court trial earlier this year.
Some of those victims, and their families, were in court to see Norman sent away — weeping with relief at the outcome.
Judge Herron said Norman preyed on young girls.
“You preyed on the young girls to satisfy your depraved interest in them,” he said.
“This was not opportunistic — it was planned and premeditated . . . and you thought you could get away with it.”
One of the victims spoke outside court yesterday on behalf of the other victims. “We are all very relieved — we have waited a long time — we have waited decades for justice to be served,” she said.
“It has had a big effect on our lives, a detrimental effect on our lives — we are just glad it is over now, and the person involved that affected us has been subjected to a fair sentencing.
“We need to encourage anyone to come forward who has been affected by sexual perpetrators, and don’t leave it as long as we have because there has been a penalty to pay.”
The jury heard detailed allegations of how Norman had sexually assaulted the girls during camping trips, motorbike rides and as they got ready for Brownies meetings.
And despite acquitting him of more than a dozen charges, the jurors did find him guilty of offences against every one of his accusers, who told how he had groped and molested them in acts committed between 31 and 48 years ago.
During a sentencing hearing on Monday, one of Norman’s victims read her victim impact statement aloud — saying as a result she had suffered anxiety, depression, mood swings and paranoia over 45 years.
“I have felt alone, helpless and frightened . . . and a guilt which has spiralled into anxiety and depression,” she said. “I still have nightmares.” Judge Herron today detailed the other victims’ descriptions of their pain, shame and emotional trauma in the more than 40 years since the offences.
During the trial, the court was told how, through a group of male friends who went spearfishing together, the families, including Norman’s, spent days together on beaches, boats and bikes.
It was mostly during these trips that the electrician took the chance to grope and fondle the girls, and sometimes get them to touch him.
In 1978, Norman admitted to two such offences and was convicted of offending against two sisters aged nine and 12.
It was those same women, along with six others, who in late 2015 and early 2016 began recounting more stories of abuse to police.
Kenneth Ernest Norman arrives at court yesterday morning.