March 2011

East Lancashire paedophile jailed indefinitely

A DANGEROUS Blackburn paedophile, who has struck dozens of times in East Lancashire, has been jailed indefinitely.

Ronald Boothby, 59, abused five schoolgirls, two of them in playhouses outside Oswaldtwistle Mills.

He was spared jail in 2009, after admitting two counts of sexual assault against a girl with learning difficulties.

He was also convicted of indecently assaulting a five year old girl in 1980 and had been given a hospital order, Burnley Crown Court heard.

Boothby, described in court as a fantasist, preyed on his ‘vulnerable’ victims, took advantage of their naivety and scared them into complying with his perverted demands.

He kept a room full of toys at a house and set about a 10-year campaign of indecent behaviour, in which he simulated sex with victims, kissed them, put his hand down their knickers, fondled them, got them to commit sex acts on him and committed a sex act on one of them.

The defendant, described as having ‘very minor leaning difficulties’ and a limited IQ, was said by the probation service to pose a high risk of harm to children, but no work could be done with him because he denied sexual motivation.

Boothby, formerly of Apple Close, had admitted three charges of causing or inciting a female under 13 to engage in sexual activity, seven allegations of sexual activity with a child and one count of gross indecency.

The offences, some of them specimens, took place before the attacks he was sentenced for in 2009 and came to light when victims went to the police after the 2009 case was reported in the local press.

Sentencing him, Judge Graham Knowles, QC, ruled he was dangerous, said his conduct had been repeated and persistent and he had done it at each and every opportunity that arose.

The judge ordered Boothby be sent to prison for an indeterminate term and said he must serve at least four years, less three days, before the parole board could consider ‘when, if at all’ he is safe to be released into the community.

The defendant was banned from working with children and placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.