A THATCHAM pensioner and member of a local church congregation has been spared a prison sentence for committing sex offences.
Eighty-seven-year-old Ernest Smith, of Coombe Court, who attends the United Reformed Church, admitted two charges under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and appeared for sentencing at Reading Crown Court on Tuesday, May 2.
Steve Molloy, defending, said his client had been married twice.
Mr Smith’s first wife had died in tragic circumstances and he had nursed his second wife through Parkinson’s disease until her death, after 48 years of marriage, the court heard.
Judge Alexia Durran imposed a prison sentence of two years, but said she would suspend this for a two-year period.
In addition, Mr Smith was required to sign the Sex Offenders Register and made subject to a 45-days rehabilitation activity requirement.
Finally, he was made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.