July 2013

‘Prolific’ child rapist from Downham sentenced to 28 years in prison

A “PROLIFIC” child rapist from Downham was sentenced today (July 11) to 28 years in prison.

Leslie Burrell, aged 62, of Whitefoot Lane, was found guilty of 39 counts of child abuse including rape, sexual activity with a child and taking indecent photographs of a child.

His victims, 11 boys and a girl, were abused between 1972 and 2007.

Judge Amy Robinson told Woolwich Crown Court: “You stand convicted of 39 offences involving the sexual abuse of a number of young boys and a girl, including 13 counts of rape.

“You took every opportunity to abuse these children, you corrupted their young lives.

“All the while you were telling them what you were doing was normal and there was nothing wrong with it.

“Your 12 victims were abused over a period of 35 years, hundreds of sexual abuses with children between the ages seven and 15.

“You groomed these children over a long period of time so they were utterly compliant.

“The effect on the victims has been varied, each has acted differently.

“You took away their innocence. You have caused them deep embarrassment, shame and anger.

“It was a gross abuse of trust, truly shocking.”

Many of Burrell’s victims were forced to give evidence against him, either shielded behind a screen or through pre-recorded interviews.

Judge Robinson added: “It is highly unlikely that such a prolific series of offences will come to an abrupt end. Who can say when that risk will cease?

“There remains a significant risk of serious abuse to children by you committing these offences.”

Burrell had denied all charges.

Convictions:

Victim A
1, 2, 4, 5: Indecent assault on a male under the age of 16 (SOA 1956)
3: Indecency with a child (Indecency with Children Act 1960)

Victim B
6, 7: Indecent assault on a male under the age of 16 (SOA 1956)

Victim C
8, 9: Indecent assault on a male under the age of 16 (SOA 1956)

Victim D
10, 11: Indecent assault on a male under the age of 16 (SOA 1956)
12: Buggery of a male under 16 (SOA 1956)

Victim E
13: Indecent assault on a male under the age of 16 (SOA 1956)

Victim F
14, 15: Indecent assault on a male under the age of 16 (SOA 1956)
16: Rape (SOA 1956)

Victim G
17: Indecent assault on a male under the age of 16 (SOA 1956)
18, 19: Rape (SOA 1956)

Victim H
20, 21: Rape (SOA 1956)
22, 23: Indecent assault on a male person (SOA 1956)
24, 26: Rape of a child under 13 (SOA 2003)
25, 27: Rape (SOA 2003)

Victim I
29, 31-33: Sexual activity with a child (SOA2003)

Victim J
35, 36: Rape of a child under 13
40: Inciting a child under 13 to engage in penetrative sexual activity

Victim K
37: Rape of a child under 13
38: Sexual activity with a child under 13
39: Causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in penetrative sexual activity

Victim L
41: Sexual activity with a child

Other convictions:
34: Taking indecent photographs of a child (Protection of Children Act 1978)

July 2013

Man convicted of 39 counts of child sexual abuse

Leslie Burrell was convicted at Woolwich Crown Court today of 39 counts of child sexual abuse including rape, sexual activity with a child and taking indecent photographs of a child. He will be sentenced on 11 July.

Andrew Baxter, CPS London Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor, said: “Burrell is a prolific sexual offender who preyed mainly on young boys over a period of more than three decades. He carried out hundreds of acts of sexual abuse in the Bromley area between 1972 and 2007.

“Burrell gained the trust of his victims before cruelly exploiting this trust in order to carry out repeated sexual abuse.

“Today he has finally been brought to justice thanks to the courage of his victims to come forward and speak out against their abuser.

“I would like to thank all the victims for supporting this prosecution. They showed great bravery in giving evidence and we were able to support them with special measures according to their needs.

“This meant that some of the victims gave their evidence by means of a pre-recorded video and from behind a screen, shielding them from having to face the defendant.

“The Crown Prosecution Service has made tackling child sexual abuse a national priority and last month the Director of Public Prosecutions launched new interim guidelines for prosecutors dealing with child sexual abuse cases.

“CPS London is committed to working with its partners in the police and other agencies to ensure that those that abuse and exploit children are brought to justice.”