A 101-year-old paedophile has been forced to pay his victim £25,000 in compensation for the ordeal he put her through - in case he died before his sentencing was complete, a court heard today.

Douglas Hammersley, who was born three months before the outbreak of World War One, had already begun his suspended sentence of two years when Judge Francis Sheridan made his closing comments on the case this morning at Aylesbury Crown Court.

The pensioner, who did not attend today's hearing, previously admitted three charges relating to the sex attacks he carried out against a girl in High Wycombe, 40 years ago.

READ MORE HERE: 101-year-old pleads guilty to sex attacks on schoolgirl

Concluding the case, Judge Sheridan said that the frail old man could afford to pay the victim compensation.

"She would have been entitled to sue this man for damages," he said.

"I awarded her £25,000 because the defendant could have died before this was all over.

"To award compensation is wholly unusual in a case like this but the young victim has carried this cross of abuse for year, upon year, upon year.

"She very properly complained to anyone that would listen. She has waited a very long time for justice but I hope justice is what she has got.

"She was telling the truth the whole way through, from the first complaint to the last. For that I applaud her for her steadfastness in getting justice."

The case against Hammersley, now of Cotsford Avenue, New Malden, Surrey, has had numerous court hearings as barristers argued over whether he was fit to go through the legal process.

However more than six months after the frail pensioner was charged he finally admitted to the abuse.

He admitted three counts of indecent assault against a girl under 14 years in 1977 and 1979.

All of the charges related to the same girl, who is now aged in her 40s.

At the time of his sentencing, NSPCC urged victims of non-recent abuse to come forward.

A spokesperson said: “There is no hiding place for perpetrators of child abuse. Hammersley has faced justice despite probably believing he got away with his depraved crimes against a young girl.

“It is never too late for survivors of child abuse to speak out and Hammersley’s victim showed tremendous courage in doing so. It’s vital she now receives the support she needs.

“Adults who are victims of non-recent abuse can contact the NSPCC’s helpline on 0808 800 5000. Children can contact Childline anytime on 0800 1111.”