September 2013

Predator Joseph Cunningham jailed for abusing five boys

A man who sexually abused five boys in the 1990s has been jailed.

Joseph Cunningham, 51, was told by judge Lord Pentland that he was “calculating, manipulative and controlling.”

Cunningham admitted carrying out the offences at various addresses in Dundee when his victims were aged between 11 and 16.

He was sentenced to nine years in prison following a hearing at the High Court in Glasgow.

It emerged that one of Cunningham’s victim went to police in 2003 but was told there was insufficient evidence at that time.

It was only when a second victim contacted officers in 2010 that legal proceedings were started.

Cunningham had been living in Spain since 2001 and a European arrest warrant was issued.

He was arrested in Gibraltar on 2 April and flown back to Scotland on 11 April.

The court was told that at the time of the offences Cunningham bought one of his victims a bike and allowed him to smoke and drink alcohol.

He also convinced the boy that his parents did not care about him.

Cunningham blackmailed two other victims to perform sex acts by photocopying fake pornographic photographs of them.

He told them they needed to pay him £30 to buy the photographs from him or he would place them in local phone boxes.

Jailing Cunningham, Lord Pentland said: “Each of your victims was a vulnerable child of whom you took advantage for your own sexual gratification.

“Through the period of the early to mid 1990s your conduct was calculating, manipulative and predatory.

“The lasting effect on your victims is incalculable and in the case of two of the complainers it has shattered their lives.”

Lord Pentland told Cunningham that he would have been jailed for 12 years had it not been for his early guilty plea.

HMA v JOSEPH FARREL DUNCAN CUNNINGHAM

At the High Court in Glasgow Lord Pentland sentenced Joseph Cunningham to 9 years in prison after he pled guilty to the sexual abuse of five boys.

On sentencing Lord Pentland made the following statement in court

“Joseph Cunningham, you have pled guilty to a number of offences arising from your sexual abuse of five boys over a prolonged period of time in the early to mid-1990s.  Your victims were aged between about 11 and 16 at the material time.  

Each of your victims was a vulnerable child of whom you took advantage for the purposes of your own sexual gratification.  The agreed narrative of the facts makes clear that throughout your conduct was calculating, manipulative and predatory.  

You groomed your victims and then grossly abused their trust.  The abuse extended to anal rape and many other forms of sexual depravity.

The lasting effect of such behaviour on your victims is incalculable, but the victim impact information indicates that in the case of two of the complainers it has shattered their lives.

It is important that those who might be disposed to commit crimes of sexual abuse against children in the way you did, understand that they are likely to receive heavy custodial penalties once brought to justice.

Society has an abhorrence of such conduct and it is part of the responsibilities of the courts to reflect that in sentencing sexual offenders.

The comprehensive criminal justice social work report explains that you have limited insight into the effects of your offending, that you present a high risk of causing further harm to the public and that a great deal of work will be necessary to try to contain and manage the risks that you present. 

In the disturbing circumstances of this case the court must take an extremely serious view of your criminality.  I acknowledge that the offences took place a considerable number of years ago. 

I accept also that you have experienced certain difficulties in your own life, but these cannot in any way serve to undermine the gravity of the offences to which you have now pled guilty.

Had you not pled guilty, I would have sentenced you to imprisonment for a term of 12 years.

I accept that your plea has had certain utilitarian advantages since a trial was avoided and your victims did not require to testify.  

In exercise of the discretion vested in me and in line with established practice, I shall reduce your sentence to one of 9 years imprisonment.

I shall backdate the sentence to 2 April 2013 when you were first arrested in Gibraltar under a European Arrest Warrant.

You will be subject to the notification requirements under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 for the remainder of your life.

Your name will be added to the list of persons deemed unsuitable to work with children and vulnerable groups”.

September 2013

Paedophile blackmailed boys into abuse using fake indecent images

A sex attacker blackmailed boys into being abused by producing fake indecent images of them.

Joseph Cunningham bought one of his five victims a bike and allowed him to drink alcohol and smoke, while he also convinced him his parents did not care for him.

The 51-year-old was jailed for nine years after admitting to abusing boys aged between 11 and 16 at various addresses in Dundee throughout the 1990s.

On Wednesday, the High Court in Glasgow heard that Cunningham forced two boys to allow him to abuse them by producing fake indecent images of them.

He told them they needed to pay him £30 to buy the photos off him or he would place them in local phone boxes. The court heard that because of this threat the boys agreed to his demands.

Jailing Cunningham Lord Pentland said: “Each of your victims was a vulnerable child of whom you took advantage for your own sexual gratification.

“Through the period of the early to mid 1990s your conduct was calculating, manipulative and predatory. The lasting effect on your victims is incalculable and in the case of two of the complainers it has shattered their lives.”

The court was told one of Cunningham’s victim went to police in 2003, but there was insufficient evidence at that time. It was only when a second victim went to the police in 2010 that legal proceedings were started against Cunningham.

He had been living in Spain since 2001 and a European arrest warrant was issued. Cunningham was arrested in Gibraltar on April 2, this year and flown back to Scotland on April 11.

His defence QC Brian McConnachie said: “He has very little recollection of these offences, apart from those involving one of the complainers because he believed he was in a relationship with him.”