A Rugby man’s sexual assault of a young boy in the 1990s had stayed a secret for many years, a court heard.
But eventually, after it had preyed on his mind in the intervening years, Ronald Brown’s victim went to the police.
And at Warwick Crown Court Brown (69) of Grendon Road, Rugby, was jailed for three-and-a-half years and ordered to register as a sex offender for life.
He had been found guilty following a trial last month, after which the case was adjourned for a pre-sentence report to be prepared on him.
At the resumed hearing, Brown's barrister, Marcus Harry said: “For the intervening years he has been a man of good character, a hard-working man.”
He said Brown had worked as a gardener, and then had a variety of jobs including working as a delivery driver, a milkman, a taxi driver and, for the last ten years, on the checkout at a supermarket, and has also undertaken voluntary work.
During the trial Brown had health problems, and has suffered from angina for a number of years, as well as type two diabetes and osteoarthritis in his neck.
But Mr Harry said what was of more concern to Brown was his wife’s health problems, including an eye problem for which he takes her to appointments to have injections every six weeks, and arthritis in her knees.
“She relies to a significant extent on Mr Brown, and she knows she will have to be without that support for some time.”
Jailing Brown, Judge Peter Cooke told him: “What you did was wicked.
“You are a man of 69, previously outwardly of good, even impeccable character, but you were a man with a dark secret.
“I accept you are in poor health, and that your wife is in poor health, and you will therefore find the inevitable custodial sentence more difficult than most.”