Taunton 'Christian' read passages of the Bible while sexually abusing girls

This is The West Country: The scales of justice. The scales of justice.

AN 82-year-old paedophile who manipulated and sexually abused young girls while claiming to be a devout Christian has been jailed for nine months.

Alexander Thomas, founder of a religious house fellowship, told his two victims the sick sexual acts were “God’s will” and that resisting would show a lack of appreciation to him.

Thomas, of St Augustine Street, Taunton, was jailed at Taunton Crown Court on Friday after admitting six counts of indecent assault.

Judge David Ticehurst said: “You claimed you were a Christian and that what you were doing was God’s will.

“I’m in no doubt whatsoever that you used your position of authority and trust.

“It’s clear that you’ve robbed these young ladies of their childhood and innocence.

“You should be thoroughly ashamed and disgusted at the way you treated them.

“I’m in no doubt you did so for your own sexual gratification.”

William Hunter, prosecuting, told the court Thomas abused the teenage girls, some 50 years his junior, on several occasions in the mid-1990s.

It was said that he would read them extracts from the Bible and told one of them he “wanted to take her virginity.”

A victim impact statement read out in court said the horrific crimes had had a lasting effect.

Thomas, wearing a shirt, tie and beige blazer, had a look of dejection as he was sent to the cells.

Patrick Mason, defending, said Thomas was “repentant and remorseful” over his actions.

He said: “He has a number of problems and is clearly deteriorating.

“He’s accepting of the need for punishment and is very sorry about what has happened.”

Thomas was also made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order lasting for five years.

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