Update: Now released

January 2011

Pensioner convicted of sexual abuse

A Clevedon pensioner has been sent to jail after being convicted of eight counts of sexually abusing a boy with learning difficulties

Jeffrey Murphy abused the 15-year-old for many months, taking advantage of the teenager when he visited his Clevedon home.

The abuse only stopped when, on September 19 last year, his victim broke down and told his parents.

The police were called and Murphy was arrested, after which officers found pictures in his house of his victim with no clothes on.

On Thursday, the 65-year-old appeared at Bristol Crown Court charged with five counts of sexual activity with a child, two of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and one of taking indecent photos of a child, for which he was given a five-year prison sentence.

Kenneth Bell, prosecuting, said: “This was a targeting of a young, vulnerable boy.”

He told the court the abuse happened on about 10-15 occasions when the boy visited Murphy’s home, first in Churchill Avenue and then when he moved to Wains Close.

Murphy would sometimes give the boy money and tell him not to tell anyone what they had been doing.

The boy told police he would tell his mum he was going for a walk along the seafront when he would actually be visiting Murphy. It was only when he returned home smelling of cigarettes that his mum became suspicious.

The court heard that, after telling his parents of the abuse, the boy, described as quiet and shy with slight learning difficulties, became withdrawn, stopped eating and was referred to a doctor.

When sentencing Murphy, who was previously convicted in 1986 of indecently assaulting two other boys aged three and 11, Judge Simon Darwall-Smith said: “It was the bravery of your victim, who has significant difficulties himself, that revealed what you had done to him.

“I have no hesitation in concluding that you pose a significant risk of serious harm to boys under the age of 16.”

Murphy will have to serve half of his prison sentence, minus the 114 days he has spent on remand, and will then be on licence for four-and-a-half years from his release. He was also handed a sexual offences prevention order.