Former Army reservist and A453 campaigner from Kimberley admits historical indecent assault on young girl

Douglas Pullen
Douglas Pullen

A retired Army reservist has admitted indecently assaulting a young girl in the Lake District more than 30 years ago.

Douglas Brian Edmund Pullen, 67, of Newdigate Street, was handed a suspended jail term at Carlisle Crown Court today (June 28).

Pullen - who was said to have been in the Army and served abroad - admitted indecently assaulting the girl, who was aged 11 or 12 years old at the time. This occurred in the Windermere area during the 1980s.

He also campaigned to name the A453 Remembrance Way after fallen soldiers, partly down to the 453 servicemen and woman who died in Afghanistan.

Prosecutor Richard Haworth told Judge Barbara Forrester the defendant’s victim had “bottled matters up” before reporting his criminal conduct many years later.

he had since told police about the impact of his offending upon her.

Mr Haworth said: “In that statement, just summarising it very briefly, she describes the difficulties she has had throughout her life; forming relationships, loving relationships with men.

And the difficulties that she has had in respect of her own family, particularly since she made the disclosure, and the fact that they simply didn’t believe her.

“In light of the defendant’s plea,” the prosecutor added, “there is hard and fast evidence there.”

Pullen had no previous criminal convictions. However, the court heard he had received a caution, in 2001, from Ministry of Defence police in respect of two indecent assault offences involving a different girl.

Barry White, defending, said Pullen was a carer for his wife, who was suffering from ill health.

Pullen’s memory of the Windermere incident had been affected by the passage of time. But Mr White said: “He accepts the actions as described by (the victim).

“He tells me he is remorseful.”

Having heard mitigation, and considered the contents of a “very detailed” pre-sentence report, Judge Forrester suspended a 12-month jail term for two years.

Pullen was told he must complete a sex offender treatment course and a rehabilitation requirement.

He must also comply with the strict terms of a sexual harm prevention order, and sign the sex offenders’ register - both for 10 years.