BRENTWOOD — "You are literally everyone's worst nightmare," a judge told Gary Britton as he sentenced the 61-year-old Chester man Monday to 50 to 100 years in state prison for the mental and sexual abuse he inflicted on two victims.
"The sentence I am imposing is intended to guarantee you will never see the outside of the walls of the New Hampshire State Prison until you are carried out in a casket," Judge N. William Delker said.
Prosecutors had argued for a 35- to 70-year prison sentence, saying Britton's sexual abuse of a 9-year-old girl beginning in 1991 was especially heinous because the girl had told her mother, but her mother did not believe her.
"There was nowhere for this child to go to get away from this," Assistant County Attorney Brad Bolton said. "There was nowhere for this child to go."
Britton once threatened to kill the girl, and struck her with a phone book during another confrontation, the victim testified at Britton's trial. The assaults happened frequently over a four-year period.
"I just feel like I have had so much taken away from me," the woman, now 31, said during Monday's hearing. She said Britton had no right for any leniency. "It would be awesome if he could never be free again. That would be great. I can't express that enough."
The case against Britton broke Sept. 21, 2011, when he failed to register as a sex offender, a requirement stemming from a 1983 conviction for aggravated felonious sexual assault that earned him a brief prison stint. A search of Britton's apartment turned up child pornography in plain sight on a computer screen and a handgun hidden in a black zip bag on top of a dresser. The 1991 sexual assault was discovered while reviewing Britton's instant messenger chats.
Britton was convicted in May of aggravated felonious sexual assault. He later pleaded guilty to charges of possession of child sexual abuse images and being a felon in possession of handgun.
Prosecutors revealed for the first time Monday that Chester police discovered evidence that Britton sexually assaulted a 6-year-old girl in 1977. That abuse lasted for two years, prosecutors said.
The 1977 case was not prosecuted because it ran beyond the statute of limitations, but Delker heard from that woman in court Monday.
She asked Delker to ensure that Britton never be eligible for any kind of freedom from prison.
"He doesn't deserve to be out — ever," she said. "Save other kids, please."
Bolton also submitted to Delker a letter written by a girl who was featured in a video of child pornography that Britton had on his computer. She described "what a nightmare it is to know that it is still out there on the Internet," Bolton said.
Delker said he could not begin to count the number of lives Britton destroyed over the years, and chided him for trying to get one of his daughters to get a handgun and a computer hard drive out of his apartment before they were found by police.
The daughter ultimately testified against Britton during his trial in May.
Delker said he decided to hand down concurrent maximum sentences in the child pornography cases, saying he wanted to send a message to others about the seriousness of the crime.
"I could go on for an hour articulating how many ways you are a menace to society," Delker said.
Britton decided against speaking in court. His public defenders argued for a 15- to 30-year prison term, saying that Britton himself was a victim of sexual abuse.