July 2013: Elsworth will be released in a matter of weeks

April 2012

Child abuser tried to buy victims’ silence with money gifts

A REMORSELESS child abuser who bought his victims’ silence with gifts of money was behind bars last night after being condemned by a judge and the detective who helped put him there.

John Elsworth, 76, from North Yorkshire, was criticised for putting his accusers through the ordeal of having to give evidence, and was told he had blighted their lives.

He still denies doing anything wrong and claims the victims have made up their stories, and his barrister Brian Russell said: “As a result, there is very little I can say on his behalf.”

Elsworth was found guilty of 16 charges of indecent assault, sexual assault, sexual activity with a child and indecency with a child following a trial at Teesside Crown Court last month.

The judge, Recorder Michael Slater, said the fact he was cleared of 11 charges should be remembered as he jailed Elsworth for three years and put him on the sex offenders’ register for life.

He told Elsworth, a retired fabricator, that his abuse was “gross and sustained and calculating”.

“I have no doubt it was facilitated by the gifts of money you lavished on each of them,” said the judge.

“It is clear from the evidence and from what I have read in the victim impact statements that it has had a significant effect upon them.”

“It was a sad, lamentable blight on their childhoods that should never have occurred.

Throughout these proceedings, it seems to me you have shown not one jot of sympathy for them.”

After the case, Detective Constable John Bosomworth, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “Elsworth is an evil man who preyed upon defenceless little children. He has shown no remorse whatsoever.

“The victims should be commended for their bravery – not only for coming forward to the police, but also facing the ordeal of giving evidence at a trial Elsworth could have prevented.”

Mr Russell provided a doctor’s letter for Elsworth, of Clarkson Court, Northallerton, and told the judge: “It makes the very valid point that a custodial sentence is always going to have a greater impact on someone of Mr Elsworth’s age than someone younger”.