January 2012

10 years’ prison for the wicked pervert who preyed on boys

A PREDATORY paedophile was behind bars today at the start of a 10-year sentence for the “wicked” abuse of two young boys in the 1980s.

James Saville Hartley’s victims are still suffering the effects nearly 30 years on, a court heard.

The first, whose ordeal started when he was six, is now an alcoholic and has had problems with drugs and relationships.

He turned to crime when he was 11 in a bid to escape the abuse, a victim impact statement revealed.

The second victim also has drink and relationship issues, and is on medication for anxiety.

Hartley, 48, of Moorside Gardens in Ovenden, Halifax, got close to both children after befriending their parents, Bradford Crown Court was told.

He began abusing the first boy in 1981 by touching his penis, and later made him perform sex acts on him.

The court heard the youngster was too afraid to tell anyone, but rebelled as he got older and began offending in a bid to escape.

“He wanted to get locked up and away from Hartley,” said Mr Mairs.

“Hartley then began to turn his attention to other young boys, as it seemed he was slipping beyond his control.”

The pervert’s second victim was the son of another family friend.

His ordeal began when he was around 11, when Hartley kissed him in front of the boy’s brother on a camping trip.

The court heard it nearly destroyed the siblings’ relationship and they only patched things up five years ago.

Within six months, Hartley was making the boy engage in sex acts with him.

The teenager moved in with Hartley when he was 16 after a fall-out with his family.

Hartley then subjected him to emotional abuse, threatening to kill himself if he left.

In 2001, he was jailed for indecently assaulting the teenager’s 13-year-old sister.

His abuse of the boys was only discovered after the younger victim had counselling and decided to go to the police.

Hartley admitted seven child sex offences at Bradford Crown Court.

Mitigating, Stephen Wood said: “The defendant’s own experiences as a young boy himself in some ways mirror the ongoing experiences of the victims in this case.”

He added: “Hopefully they can obtain some closure from knowing he has admitted his guilt.

“His pleas are demonstrative of genuine remorse.”

Sentencing him, Judge Peter Benson told Hartley his “wicked” behaviour had brought misery upon his victims’ lives.

He said: “You betrayed the trust placed in you by their parents and indeed by them to gratify your own lust.

“What you did was evil in the extreme.”

Detective Inspector Gary Stephenson, of Calderdale CID, said: “This man is a predatory paedophile whose offending stretches back in the region of 30 years.

“Officers have worked closely with the victims and their families, resulting in the successful conviction and his imprisonment.

“This sends out a clear message that no matter how long ago offences like this were committed we will investigate them and bring those responsible before the courts.”