July 2016

Man jailed for raping a boy in an empty railway carriage

A man in his 60s has been jailed for raping a boy in an empty railway carriage more than 20 years ago.

Swansea Crown Court heard that the ordeal left his young victim feeling he couldn’t trust people — and that he only felt safe when he was locked up in prison and away from people who could hurt him.

Police have welcomed the jailing of 67-year-old Malcolm Harding, saying they hope successful prosecutions such as his will encourage anyone who has been the victim of sexual abuse — not matter how long ago — to come forward.

Harding, of Giants Grave Road, Briton Ferry, had denied raping the boy during the 1990s but was found guilty following a trial.

The court heard the incident happened in a empty train carriage left in railway sidings.

The incident only came to light in recent years when the victim came forward to report what had happened.

The court was told that in the years after the attack the victim led a troubled life, abusing alcohol and going in and out of prison.He said in his police interview the rape by the older man had destroyed his trust in people, and that he only felt safe when he was in prison.

Judge Peter Heywood sentenced Harding to nine years, and told him he would be on the sex offenders register for the rest of his life.

The detective who led the investigation, South Wales Police detective constable Andy Davies, welcomed to sentence.

He said: “Widespread media coverage of high-profile cases has created a greater awareness of these issues which may have given survivors and victims of abuse the courage to speak out.

“We have got a team of experienced specially-trained officers who are dedicated to investigating serious sexual abuse, both current and non-recent.

“Officers are committed to thoroughly investigating allegations, providing support to victims and bringing perpetrators to justice.

“We hope that the successful prosecution of offenders will provide some comfort to the victims of these horrific crimes but also inspire others to come forward and report these matters to us. ”

He added: “We want victims to know that they will be listened to and believed and that their allegations will be thoroughly investigated.”