October 2013

Paedophile given a nine-year jail term

A PREDATORY paedophile who raped a lad when he was aged about eight years old has been jailed for nine years.

But John Devine may only serve an extra year behind bars as he is already serving a lengthy sentence for the abuse of other young boys.

The 43-year-old, who was manager of a street hockey team, volunteer scout leader and a swimming pool lifeguard, was jailed for life in June 2011.

He was ordered to serve a minimum term of six years and two months, less time served on remand, meaning he may apply for parole in March 2017, though a judge warned him he may never get out.

And in June the council reached a settlement with one of his victims as they employed him at the Milton Road Health Hydro at the time of his offending.

Colin Meeke, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court the latest offences to come to light took place between 2005 and 2007.

He said the boy came forward and made the complaint when the April Jones murder trial was in the papers earlier this year.

After telling family what had taken place the boy, now aged 14, spoke to the police.

When Devine was spoken to in prison in the Isle of Wight he admitted getting the boy to carry out a sex act on him and indecently touching him once.

Mr Meeke said because of the damage that could be done by making the lad give evidence at any trial it had been decided to proceed with just the two charges.

He said the defendant became a friend of the boy’s family and as a result used to babysit for the lad and his older brother, which was when he carried out the abuse.

Devine, formerly of Danestone Close, Middleleaze, pleaded guilty to rape and sexual assault of a child under 13.

As well as being jailed in 2011 for offences against three boys he also received a 19 month sentence in 2009 for abusing another lad and having indecent images of children on his computer.

Rob Ross, defending, said his client accepted what he had done in the past and had undergone treatment in prison.

He said he was not able to apply for parole for another three years and it was unlikely he would get his liberty for a while after that.

Mr Ross said he was now in a relationship with a woman, who he met before going to prison, and hoped to return to her when he eventually gets out.

Judge Euan Ambrose told him he had to determine what would have happened had he known about these offences when he jailed him in 2011.

He said: “You are a predatory paedophile and your modus operandi is to seek out a position of trust in relation to a young boy, or a group of young boys, and to use the opportunity that that presents to commit sexual offences against that boy or boys.

“Between 2005 and 2007 you held such a position of trust as the coach of a boys’ roller hockey team.

“My objective in sentencing you today is not only to pass a sentence that is commensurate, that is appropriate, on the guidelines today in front of me, but also to achieve, if I can, the result which has a particular effect of placing you in the same position you would have been in if these matters had been sentenced in 2011.

“As it turns out my judgment is that the two are in effect capable of being satisfied because a commensurate determinate sentence for this will do just that: it will push back the date of any consideration by the parole board.

“The element of public protection is already catered for in the imprisonment for public protection. I repeat, you will not be released until it is safe for you to be released. Bearing in mind the scale of your offending it seems to me most unlikely you will be considered for release at the expiry of the minimum term.”

June 2011

Swindon man jailed after admitting 13 sex offences

A paedophile who preyed on boys has been jailed after admitting to a string of serious sexual offences.

John Devine, of Danestone Close, Middleleaze Swindon, was given an indeterminate prison sentence at Swindon Crown Court.

The 40-year-old pleaded guilty to 13 sexual offences against boys dating from the early 1990s until 2007.

He was ordered to serve a minimum sentence of six years two months for sexual assault, indecent assault and rape.

One of John Devine’s victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons suffered at the hands of the former Health Hydro lifeguard, which took place when he was aged between 11 and 15.

He groomed the youngsters, gaining their trust by buying them gifts before having them stay at his home where he abused them. He was already serving time for sexually assaulting another boy and possessing indecent images

Det Con Liz Coles who led the investigation said: “This was a man who grossly abused the trust that his victims put in him.

“His hideous behaviour and actions have been devastating for his victims and we are tremendously proud of the way they have conducted themselves throughout this investigation.”

He will remain on the sex offenders register for life