June 2011

Pervert suffering from cancer who abused young children will die in prison

A PAEDOPHILE diagnosed with cancer will spend the rest of his life behind bars after being jailed for 15 years for the depraved and perverted sexual abuse of young children more than 30 year ago.

John Skelton, 65, was handed what effectively will be a life sentence at Northampton Crown Court as he has been diagnosed with terminal coloncancer, with a prognosis he may have as little as a year to live.

The former ex-patriot’s crimes eventually caught up with him three decades later when he returned to the UK from Turkey in 2009.

Jonathan Spicer, prosecuting, said Skelton was living in The Mounts area in 1971 when he started abusing a young girl.

He said: “The defendant told her it would help her in later life.

“He told her ‘Your future husband or boyfriend will like this – they will be grateful I showed you how to pleasure men’.”

The court heard another young victim was groomed by being shown pornography before being repeatedly sexually abused.

Skelton also began a campaign of rapes against another young girl, while living in Abington, in the early 1980s.

Sentencing, Judge Michael Fowler said: “You had no previous convictions before this offending brought you before the court. These offences were historical, and over a long period of time. But the one thing that can be said in your favour is that you have entered guilty pleas that have avoided the necessity of any of your victims having to come to court to give evidence.

“The offences to which you have pleaded guilty are of the highest order of offences of this kind.”

Skelton, formerly of Standens Barn, pleaded guilty on the day of his trial last month to 13 specimen charges of rape, gross indecency and indecent assaults against his victims, whose identities are protected.

Richard Holloway, mitigating, said Skelton accepted he was now likely to spend the rest of his life in prison and pleading guilty “was the very least he could do.” He added: “He hopes his admissions of guilt will give them closure.