December 2022

Paedophile from Merthyr Tydfil sentenced after filming himself abusing 10-year-old boy

A paedophile who filmed himself sexually abusing a 10-year-old and then threatened to release the footage if the boy told anyone, has been sentenced to six years behind bars.

Michael James from Merthyr Tydfil attacked three boys and raped two of them.

He is already serving a 14-year jail term imposed in 2021 for sexual offences, including rape, against a boy under the age of 16.

James, now 66, terrorised the children in the 1990s and 2000s. In one case he threatened to kill a 15-year-old boy if he revealed the abuse, Cardiff Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Andrew Davies said one of the victims was aged around 10 when he was attacked.

James would ask to “play wrestling” before groping the boy’s thighs and then his private parts. He said “let me see” but the boy managed to flee, the court heard.

A few weeks later James trapped the boy and left him “shaking and scared” as he pulled him onto the floor and took down the child’s trousers.

The boy was struggling and saying: “What are you doing?” James put his hand over the boy’s mouth to stop him talking and positioned his knees atop the child before penetrating him. The boy was in pain and afterwards realised he was bleeding.

“The defendant sat him down and pointed to a camera on the mantelpiece,” said Mr Davies.

“He told him he had recorded what happened and if he ever told anyone then people would hate him and think he was dirty.”

James was heard to attack another boy after grooming him with alcohol and cigarettes. On one occasion, he put his tongue into the child’s ear “in the guise of whispering”, said the prosecutor.

On another occasion James told the boy he was gay and “confused”.

Mr Davies told the court: “He started begging the child to kiss him. The child refused but the defendant began kissing him. The child again said no and asked what he was doing. The defendant then said, ‘Come with me.'”

The court then heard how James grabbed the boy’s wrist, led him into a bedroom and raped him. He was holding the boy’s shoulder and at one point grabbed him by the throat.

The boy was saying “no” and that he would tell people. It was only when the child said “you raped me” that James stopped.

The victim later told police: “I remember him putting his hand over my mouth and he grabbed hard. He said he was going to kill me if I told anybody. I think that’s why I was scared.”

He reported the attack to police years after the abuse. In his victim statement he said: “It hurts to even write his name on paper, never mind speak it. My mind flipped the day this happened. Did I do something wrong? Was I in the wrong place?

“I hid. I would not go out. I put up a wall so tall that I was lost as a person. I had a mixture of anger and hate towards my life that my mother could not work out. I failed all my GCSEs because of him.”

The victim said he later put all his emotions into his work and got a degree, but added: “Really I was running away. No qualification or degree could take the pain away.”

He also told of how the rape impacted his romantic relationships. “I couldn’t love like a normal person. There’s no trust, just nerves. I’m still unable to connect with another person on an intimate level.”

James, formerly of Galon Uchaf, was sentenced in court on Wednesday 21 December, after pleading guilty to rape, buggery and indecent assault. He appeared via a video link from prison in the Isle of Wight.

The judge imposed an extended sentence of six years in custody and four on licence, which will be added to the sentence already being served.

“When it comes to the extra six years, you will have to serve at least two thirds of those six years in custody before you can apply for parole,” the judge added.

“I want to make it clear I would have passed a higher sentence were it not for the fact you are currently serving such a substantial sentence.”

James will be on the sex offenders register indefinitely.