March 2007

Birkenhead man is jailed after attacks on boys

A SOFTWARE engineer from Birkenhead has been jailed for six years for attacking and molesting two young boys in Scotland.

Former Marconi worker Michael Thomas, 29, was branded “scum” as he was led from the dock at the High Court in Edinburgh to begin his sentence last week.

Thomas was babysitting his young victims, who were only seven and eight at the time, when he subjected them to a catalogue of abuse – including pushing one boy’s head into a sink full of water.

At an earlier hearing in Glasgow, the court heard how Thomas had also downloaded pornographic photographs and videos from the internet featuring girls as young as eight.

Thomas, who was living in Lesmeghagow, Lanarkshire, but is originally from Oxton, was caught after one of his young victims told his grandmother and the police were called in.

After taking statements from the boys police interviewed Thomas and seized his computer.

Prosecutor Vinit Khurana said the boys revealed Thomas had attacked and sexually abused them in a Paisley flat and a house in a Lanarkshire town.

Mr Khurana added: “He admitted to police he stood on one boy’s head and slapped the other on the face and hit him on the leg with a Playstation wire because they stole some juice.”

Thomas admitted using lewd and libidinous practices towards the eight-year-old between July 7 and November 15, 2005, in Paisley, and the seven-year-old on October 28 or 29, 2006, in Lanarkshire.

He also pleaded guilty to restricting the eight-year-old’s breathing and slapping the seven-year-old on the face, pushing his head in a sink filled with water and slapping him on the leg with a wire on an occasion between July 7 and November 15, 2005.

He also admitted standing on the older boy’s head and the younger boy’s back on October 28 or 29, last year.

Frank Gallagher, defending, told the court: “He fully appreciates there is no alternative but to impose a substantial custodial sentence.”

The judge, Lord Hodge, sentenced Thomas to six years in prison with a further six years supervision order against him once he is released.

He ordered Thomas to be placed on the sex offenders’ register.

“Your behaviour towards these children was wholly unacceptable and will cause lasting damage,” said Lord Hodge.

“You are assessed as posing a high risk of reoffending and a high risk of harm.”

The boys’ mother told the Globe that her sons had been traumatised by Thomas, who yelled “I’m sorry, I’m sorry” at her outside court. She said the boys were now seeing psychologists and had started wetting their beds.

“This man stole a big part of my kids’ lives,” she said. “I don’t think six years is enough. He should be spending at least ten years in jail.”