December 2015

Pensioner jailed for abusing boy for 8 years

harr

A PENSIONER who sexually abused a young boy for eight years has been jailed.

Last month, a jury at Bolton Crown Court convicted 78-year-old John Harrington of two counts of indecently assaulting the boy and a further two charges of indecency with a child.

On Friday, Harrington, who had denied the offences, hung his head in the dock as Judge Graeme Smith sentenced him to six years in jail.

The jury heard that the victim, now aged 27, had turned to Harrington in the late 1990s and early 2000s when he was aged between six and 14 because of difficulties at home.

The jury heard how the boy’s mother neglected him and he was beaten by his father.

But Harrington, previously of Bolton and now of Longridge, Knutsford, took advantage of the situation.

The court was told that the abuse began when Harrington started stroking the boy’s leg and developed into touching him sexually.

Harrington would assure the boy that he was not going to hurt him, adding the warning: “You can’t say nowt to your parents”.

But the child put up with the abuse, which he regarded as preferable to the beatings he would get at home.

Phillip Barnes, prosecuting, told Judge Smith that the victim turned to drink and drugs and kept his secret for 10 years until blurting it out to his partner on Boxing Day, 2012.

In a statement read out in court the man told how he felt he had fallen victim to a “monster.”

“At the time I was confused — a lost boy,” he said.

“My full understanding of what happened to me gets more painful.”

He added that he is attempting to reclaim his life.

“For many years I had a piece of me stolen,” he said.

Mark Friend, defending, stressed that Harrington was of previous good character and there has been no repetition of the offending since 2002.

He added that Harrington has long term learning difficulties.

“He now lives a very sedentary existence, caring for his wife,” he said.

Sentencing Harrington to prison and ordering that he be placed on the sex offenders’ register for life, Judge Smith told him that his victim had been vulnerable.

“He looked to your home as a place of refuge,” he added.

October 2015

Pensioner found guilty of sexually abusing young boy

A PENSIONER who sexually abused a young boy has been warned he could face jail.

It took a jury at Bolton Crown Court just over a day to find 77-year-old John Harrington guilty of two counts of indecently assaulting the boy between February 1997 and February 1999 and two charges of indecency with a child between February 1995 and February 1997.

The pensioner was cleared of a further 13 charges of indecent assault and indecency with a child.

During the four day trial the jury heard how the victim, now aged 27, was neglected by his mother and beaten by his father and so, between the ages of six and 14, the boy would spend time with Harrington.

Gary Woodhall, prosecuting, told the court that the lack of a proper loving relationship with his parents meant the boy felt unable to tell them what Harrington was doing to him.

“(He) began to feel like what was happening was normal,” said Mr Woodhall.

The court was told that the abuse began when Harrington started stroking the boy’s leg and developed into touching him sexually.

Harrington would assure the boy that he was not going to hurt him, adding the warning: “You can’t say nowt to your parents.”

Mr Woodhall said the boy put up with the abuse, which he regarded as preferable to the beatings he would get at home.

The abuse finally ended when the the boy was 14 and at high school, but Mr Woodhall added that it resulted in the child turning to drugs and alcohol in a bid to forget his past.

Harrington’s crimes came to light in 2013 when the victim confided in his partner.

When a member of the victim’s family confronted Harrington he admitted he had sexually abused the boy, but denied he had touched the child when police arrested and questioned him.

Harrington, now of Longridge, Knutsford, stood emotionless in the dock as the jury reached their verdicts.

He was granted bail to allow for reports into his medical conditions to be prepared prior to his sentencing on December 18.

But Judge Graeme Smith told him: “All sentencing options remain open to the court at this stage.”

Harrington was also told he must sign the sex offenders’ register.