August 2017

Family wins historic battle for justice after victim’s sudden death

THE wife and brother of a man who was sexually abused as a child have won justice for him after his death.

After an historic legal fight, the pair were in Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday to see James Bean, of Liverpool Road in Great Sankey, jailed for six years.

He was found guilty of raping and sexually assaulting his victim, then aged nine, more than 20 years ago, telling him he wanted to ‘play a game’.

The victim died suddenly as an adult after struggling to come to terms with what had happened to him. But his family vowed to fight the case in his memory. 

His wife, who asked to remain anonymous out of respect for her husband, said she hopes he will now be at peace.

Speaking after the sentencing she said: “It did really tear him to bits. He was so private over it, he felt ashamed.

“After he died I couldn’t let it drop, not when I had egged him on to report it. I was so proud of him for doing that.

“We have been in the courtroom every day and when we were waiting for them to read out the verdict, his brother grabbed my hand and every time they said guilty to each count we just squeezed each other’s hands, we were absolutely made up.

“I’m gutted that my husband is not here to have seen it.”

Police said that Bean, 39, subjected the youngster to years of abuse that left him with ‘lasting emotional damage’.

The family said it is only the second time a person has been convicted of historic sex offences when the victim has died, with video interviews being used in court proceedings. 

They now hope other families in similar circumstances will have the courage to come forward.

The victim’s brother said he was proud that they had finally secured justice: “It has been a great result out of a bad situation. It just feels like we have put things to rest a bit.

“Bean took advantage of my brother. 

“We never expected that result. It was definitely worth it and it definitely paid off so if anybody else is in the same position they should know that it can be done.

“If you feel strongly enough about pursuing a past history case and the person is deceased then there is proof out there that it is worth it.”