Febuary 2010

Man, 31, jailed for sex attacks on two boys

A MAN branded a “predatory homosexual” has been jailed for four years after launching sex attacks on two young boys in West Cornwall.

Ian Horler, 31, of Predannack Holiday Village, Mullion, was found guilty by a jury in December of indecently assaulting a 13-year-old boy on his 13th birthday in 2002 and engaging in unlawful sexual activity with a 15-year-old in 2008.

At a sentencing hearing at Truro Crown Court on Friday, Horler, also known as Boots, was told by Judge Christopher Elwen that he remained “in denial” about the separate attacks. Horler was given four-year sentences for each offence, to run concurrently and was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register.

Judge Elwen said Horler, a former market trader, claimed his victims – who cannot be named for legal reasons – were “mistaken” or “lying”. An earlier hearing was told Horler had befriended the families of both victims, one of which said Horler “was like an uncle” to him.

Judge Elwen said Horler had given one of the boys “enough cider to knock you out as a kid,” before performing a sex act on him. The second offence also saw Horler give alcohol to his victim. The court heard how Horler had joined his victim and the victim’s father in a pub, where he sneaked vodka into the boy’s Coke.

“You persuaded him to stay with you, persuading him you were soulmates,” said Judge Elwen. He said Horler had been found to be at a moderate to high risk of reoffending and was considered a danger to young boys.

The older boy, described as being “shocked”, punched Horler several times before telling his father and a friend, a police officer. This report was said to have given the younger victim the courage to report what Horler had done to him in 2002.

“There is a considerable age gap between the victims and the defendant. The offences suggest manipulative and predatory behaviour, where trust develops and opportunities arise,” said Judge Elwen.

Horler had earlier denied that he was homesexual, despite one prosecution witness claiming it was “openly known” that this was the case.

Horler had lived with a woman for more than four years. She told the jury at an earlier hearing that there had “never been any problem” with her young son or daughter in this time.