November 2019

Paedophile rapist left schoolgirl ‘tormented’ by his evil abuse

A paedophile repeatedly raped a schoolgirl leaving her “tormented” for the rest of her life by his evil abuse.

John Adam targeted the teenage victim, and also molested a little girl, under the age of 10, three decades ago.

The 69-year-old, who was in his late 30s at the time, sexually abused the children when living in Newton-le-Willows.

Liverpool Crown Court heard he left the older victim feeling “weak, disgusting and alone” and she has since self-harmed.

Adam, of Fidler Street, Thatto Heath, denied any wrongdoing, meaning his victims had to give evidence during a four-day trial.

A jury unanimously found him guilty of three counts of rape and four counts of indecent assault, after three hours of deliberation.

The two victims didn’t feel able to report the attacks at the time, but found the courage to speak to police in 2017.

Nicola Daley, prosecuting, said the now adult women gave victim statements, describing the impact of their ordeal.

She said it was also clear the older victim had a “longstanding mental health background” when she gave evidence.

Ms Daley said: “In fact during her cross-examination on the video link she did show some of the scarring that she had on her arms as a result of self-harm.

She towards the end of that statement indicates particular ways in which she has been affected by way of clothing, self-esteem and not even liking to wear makeup.

“She indicates at the very end for 31 years she kept the matters to herself, fearing threats and also what it would do to her loved ones.”

The younger victim, who was in court to see her abuser jailed, also spoke of how it affected the way she now views her body.

Ms Daley said: “It’s apparent that both witnesses have been affected and that perhaps over the 30 years since these incidents, keeping it to themselves has had an even greater impact than had it been raised at the time.”

Keith Sutton, defending, said Adam, who has previous convictions for dishonesty in the 1960s, hadn’t committed any offences since.

He said his client, who suffers from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), emphysema and angina, had a heart attack two years ago and now has a stent fitted.

Mr Sutton said Adam had reduced blood flow, which particularly affected his extremities, occasional difficulty walking up and down stars, and osteoporosis.

The lawyer said: “He’s on a number of medications for that range of conditions. The inevitable custody will have a significant impact upon him given these conditions and his age.”

The judge, Recorder Jeremy Lasker, said the older victim was Adam’s “primary target” and he first abused her when she had a drink on New Year’s Eve.

He said: “After that you embarked on a course of conduct towards her, taking advantage of any fleeting opportunity to corner her in order to kiss her, to touch her on the breasts or her bottom.”

Recorder Lasker added: “You knew full well what you were doing was seriously wrong because you threatened her not to tell anybody.”

He said Adam’s offending “significantly escalated” when he began regularly raping the girl, but she didn’t think anyone would believe her.

The judge said: “She said in her evidence that what you had done had made her feel weak, disgusting and alone.”

He said the vulnerable victim required mental health support for most of her life and was described as “being tormented by what had happened”.

Recorder Lasker said: “There can be absolutely no doubt that your decision to satisfy your own sexual gratification by abusing her when she was a teenager has had a significant and lasting effect upon her over the last 30 years.”

He said Adam – who showed no emotion in the dock throughout the hearing or when sentenced – touched the little girl’s breasts over her clothing.

Recorder Lasker said he took into account his age and ill health, but said: “I appreciate that any sentence I impose is bound to have an effect upon your future prospects, but your age can only have little more than a minimal influence on the sentences that I have to impose.”

He said Adam was “an offender of particular concern” and jailed him for 14 years.