February 2015

Former clay pit worker jailed for 12 years for raping young boy in the 1970s

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A FORMER clay pit worker has been jailed for 12 years after being found guilty of raping a young boy from the St Austell area in the Seventies.

Kenneth Bawden, 58, took the boy, who was aged five to eight, to a secluded location before abusing him sexually, Truro Crown Court heard at the start of his trial on Monday.

Bawden, who had previous convictions for sexual offences against five other boys, lived in St Stephen and was working at the clay pits at the time.

The court heard the boy, now an adult, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the police the abuse happened on more than one occasion when he reported it in 2013.

Jason Beal, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “It can be many years before children, or adults as they then become, pluck up the courage to tell anyone in authority what has happened.

“He recalls that what happened to him had to be kept a secret that nobody could know about.”

The court heard Bawden had previously appeared in court on two occasions, realting to offences which happened in the later 1970s and 1980s – after the offences related to this boy.

After the conviction, Rupert Taylor, for the defence, said Bawden had spent much of his childhood in care.

Of Bawden at the time of the offences, he said: “He was but a teenager himself.

“He was living away from his family and he was a young man that obviously had a very troubled childhood.”

Mr Taylor said that since Bawden’s last court appearance, he had sought to live a law-abiding life with his partner.

Mr Beal said Bawden was interviewed following the revelations and told officers that he had been living in St Stephen at around that time and had worked at the clay pits.

He said he had never spent any time alone with the boy and had never done anything of a sexual nature towards him.

“He said that he could not think of any reason why it would be that [the boy] would now try to get him into trouble by saying something that was not true,” added Mr Beal.

On Tuesday a jury found Bawden, of Hampage Green, Havant, Hampshire, guilty of two serious sexual offences on the boy.

Sentencing, the judge, Recorder Edward Burgess, said there were elements of the case that suggested Bawden had deliberately befriended the boy.

“You exploited his innocence and his naivety for your own perverted sexual gratification,” he said.

“Although he desperately wanted to turn to his parents … he felt utterly unable to do so.”

Recorder Burgess said the victim had suffered considerable inner turmoil as a result of Bawden’s actions.

He added: “You told the jury obvious lies.

“You were thoroughly selfish and cowardly in your approach to this case.”

Bawden was jailed for 12 years and ordered to sign the sex offender’s register for life