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.

Albany Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - Tim Clarke

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.

Pic­ture: Michael Wilson

Ken­neth Ernest Nor­man ar­rives at court yes­ter­day morn­ing.

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