September 2009

Paedophile paid teen to do chores before abusing him

A PAEDOPHILE who lured a boy by paying him to do menial chores before abusing him has been jailed.

John Harris, of Hawleys Lane, Dallam, abused a boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, for three years when he was aged between 12 and 15.

Harris pleaded guilty to six counts of gross indecency with a child on the day of his trial.

Meirion Lewis-Jones told Warrington Crown Court how the boy ‘worshipped the ground’ the 45-year-old walked on when he paid him to do jobs around his house between 1996 and 1999.

A victim’s statement was read out in court on Friday by Mr Lewis-Jones. It said: “At the time I felt happy and privileged that he wanted to listen to me about school problems and life.

“The worst feeling was that I had nobody to turn to. The easiest solution was to let it carry on.

“If I let it out of the bag it would upset his family and mine. I didn’t want to be the boy who was abused.

“Now I have told people what happened, do they see me as a weak person? Does my girlfriend still find me attractive knowing what’s happened?”

Lee Bonnor, defending the overweight man who wore a suit to court, said his client had maintained contact with the boy for a while after he told Harris he wanted the torment to stop.

Mr Bonnor said: “It does appear clear that this defendant did have a very positive effect on his life in some respects. The defendant wishes to take full responsibility.

“He is very keen for the victim to know he isn’t to blame. He was himself a victim of abuse at a similar age.”

Harris lived with his mum until she died 18 months ago and cares for his disabled brother.

Sentencing Harris, Judge Woodward said: “He was really an emotionally vulnerable boy.

“His parents had recently separated and he was having difficulties in his own personal relationships with his family.”

He said Harris took advantage of the situation and deliberately groomed him – first of all emotionally, then physically.

Harris was sentenced to two years and eight months in jail.

Speaking after the case DC Jessica Jarvis, of Warrington Central NPU, said: “Thanks to the bravery and honesty of the victim, a dangerous man has now been brought to justice.”