A PENSIONER who sexually assaulted a woman was jailed after a judge condemned him for his “gratuitous degradation” of her.

Paul Darnell, 73, from Abertillery, was branded a “cowardly bully” by Recorder Richard Booth QC, who told him he had humiliated his victim.

The defendant had denied the offences but was convicted by a jury following a trial.

Darnell, of Commercial Road, Llanhilleth, was found guilty of assault by penetration, sexual assault and common assault.

He had denied all the charges against him.


Matthew Cobbe, prosecuting, said the woman had made a victim personal statement in which she revealed how the defendant had “terrified” her.

Cardiff Crown Court heard how she now suffers flashbacks of her ordeal.

She said: “I feel embarrassed and ashamed of what happened.

“I’ve never been so frightened in my life as I was on the day of the incidents.

“I live like a scared animal.”

Kathryn Lane, representing Darnell, asked the judge to take into account the defendant’s age and that he was a man of previous good character.

She added how her client suffers from a host of health issues which include anxiety, depression, diabetes and a heart condition.

Recorder Booth told Darnell: “You spanked her and in the course of a terrifying incident you made unwanted sexual advances upon and unwanted sexual demands of your victim.”

The judge added: “There was the gratuitous degradation of her.

“These were the offences of a cowardly bully.”

He was jailed for three years and told he will have to serve half of that time in prison before he will be released on licence.

Darnell will have to register as a sex offender for life.

The defendant was ordered to pay a £181 victim surcharge following his release from custody.