January 1999

Department store child rapist gets life

A 24-year-old man who raped a boy in a lavatory in a department store in the centre of Leeds has been jailed for life.

Alan Evans was identified after being caught on a video camera when he attacked a 13-year-old boy in a shopping centre toilets.

After spotting the boy and following him into British Home Stores, Mr Evans “punched him into a cubicle and raped him”, the jury heard.

A witness heard the terrified boy screaming “rape” but thought it was rowdy children playing, until the cubicle door opened and Evans emerged.

The witness’s description, together with videos from closed-circuit TV cameras, helped catch the sex offender.

Evans pleaded guilty to the shopping centre rape and a series of sex offences against young boys over a period of six years.

Series of attacks

Mr Evans was sentenced to probation at Huddersfield Youth Court in 1992 after he chased and caught a 13-year-old boy playing in a quarry and forced him to perform degrading sex acts.

A month later, while still on bail, he attacked a 14-year-old boy near the Rochdale Canal in West Yorkshire.

Mr Evans also confessed to “worming” his way into the confidence of a 10-year-old boy’s parents who trusted the child abuser and allowed the youngster to stay at his home.

The boy would be allowed to drink alcohol by Evans, who would then molest and abuse him over a series of weeks in 1996.

Leeds Crown Court heard Evans had fantasies about violent sex attacks on children and prowled the shopping centre during summer school holidays.

Sentencing Mr Evans, Judge Brian Walsh QC said: “You are extremely dangerous and a considerable risk to the public for the forseeable future.

Judge Walsh recommended Evans serve a minimum of five-and-a-half years before he is considered for release.

In the case for Evans’s defence, Mrs Jennifer Kershaw QC said: “He expresses to the court and members of the complainants’ families his personal regret for what took place.”