August 2023

Paedophile who targeted a five-year-old boy

A Wakefield paedophile who targeted a five-year-old boy was finally brought to court 37 years after committing his crimes but received just a community order.

Cowardly Jason Tasker was convicted after a recent trial at Leeds Crown Court of two counts of indecency with a child and one of indecent assault, and appeared again this week for sentencing.

But Judge Robin Mairs admitted that Tasker, who was just 14 himself when he assaulted the youngster, had to be dealt with by way of the more relaxed laws at the time he committed the offences in the mid 1980s.

He conceded that Tasker, who is now 51, may not have even been prosecuted at all back in the day and even less likely to be sent into custody.

He said: I have to look at sentence through the prism of what would have happened to a 14-year-old at the time. The maximum sentence that could have been imposed upon him at that time was four months (jail).

Its not a 14-year-old boy who sits before me but a 51-year-old man who has lived an unblemished life since then.

He handed Tasker, of Syndale Road, Normanton, a two-year community order, 20 rehabilitation days and put on the sex offender register for five years. He also ordered him to pay 1,750 prosecution costs.

The trial heard that Tasker had just turned 14 when he took the boy to his bedroom and assaulted him, before masturbating in front of him.

The victim eventually came forward and told police in 2016. He said Taskers assaults affected every aspect of my life and that he sought solace in recreational drugs to escape the pain and anxiety.

In an impact statement read out by prosecutor Julian Jones on behalf of the victim, he said: When I was only five-year-old I suffered am horrific violation of trust and innocence at the hands of Jason Tasker. As a small vulnerable child I was left with the burden of guilt, believing I had committed a terrible act. Without understanding, I believed I had done something wrong.

I lived in fear that people would discover my terrible secret. My childhood was consumed by anxiety, guilt and the overwhelming weight of keeping this secret hidden.

I will never get my time back or know know what it was to live as a normal person because of what he did to me. The defendants actions have left me with permanent scars. The pain and trauma of my past will always be a part of me.

He described Taskers constant denials as cowardly actions and added: Given the opportunity to accept and admit what he did to me, Tasker lied to me, lied to the police and lied to the court and ensured we were put through the painful experience of a trial by jury. He tried to cover his tracks.

Judge Mairs said that sentences of this kind were legally among the most difficult. He said: It was clear to anyone who saw his (the victims) evidence at trial, the impact is still live and still affecting him.