December 2020

“Pathetic” serial paedophile jailed for 18 years

A “pathetic” serial paedophile from Brighton has been jailed for 18 years for abusing two boys

Ronald Parker, 82, of Wiltshire House, Lavender Street, Brighton, was described as “a self-serving deviant” who stole his victims’ childhoods and their innocence.

Judge Janet Waddicor jailed Parker at Lewes Crown Court today (Monday 7 December) and told him: “You know that you will probably die in prison.”

Parker spent most of the hearing with his bowed, looking up only when Judge Waddicor sentenced him.

She said: “It may be a cliché but it’s true that you robbed your victims of their childhoods. You filled them with self-loathing and self-blame which lasted many, many years.

“Both of them were driven to drugs or to alcohol to escape. Both attempted to take their own lives. The harm that you caused was long-lasting and incalculable.

“You groomed them. You somehow persuaded their parents that you were a nice man and that it was safe for them to leave their boys in your care.

“You had a great deal of power over these boys and their families.”

Nicola Powell, prosecuting, told the court that Parker had abused one of the boys at his parents’ home in Brighton and taken both away for trips.

Parker took one of his victims – who was eight when the abuse started – on a fishing trip to Dungeness, in Kent, and indecently assaulted him as they camped there overnight.

He took both boys on separate trips to the Gower Peninsula, in Wales, and abused them there. During one trip he pinned down the other boy, who was 13 at the time, and forced himself on the youngster.

Judge Waddicor told Parker, whose offences spanned his late twenties to his early forties, that he got the boy drunk on cider so that he could abuse him.

She paid tribute to both men for the most powerful expression of “the lasting damage that is done to children by sexual predators for their own gratification”.

The judge added: “Anybody with an ounce of humanity cannot fail to have been moved by their victim impact statements.”

She said that Parker was “a pathetic figure” and, turning to the victims, said: “I don’t know how you’ve had the courage to come to court to provide the victim personal statements.

“I have seen the damage done by people like this defendant. The evil that they do to very young children is shocking.”

Judge Waddicor imposed a sexual harm prevention order, banning Parker from contact with children for life.

Statements from both victims told how they had battled with shame, drinks or drugs and suicide attempts.

One of them, Timothy Pickett, who waived his right to anonymity, told the court: “I withdrew from friendships and I hated being around other people. I had constant feelings of low esteem.

“I started drinking at the age of 13 and I would go to the Hungry Years bar on Brighton seafront just to get away from my home life where I no longer felt wanted.

“This was the start of my going off the rails and my mother said she regarded me as an evil son.”

Despite impressive professional successes, he said: “All of this I would give up if I could turn back the clock and erase his crime.

“This man’s actions haunt me in my day-to-day life and destroyed my sense of self-worth.

“Every so often the pain and self-hate gets too much to bear. I’m ashamed. I have tried to take my own life on several occasions. The last time was in June this year.

“He stole my innocence, my childhood and my freedom for his own gratification.

“This man has created such an anger in me that I find it hard to breathe. I try to channel it in positive ways.

“He is a self-serving deviant who has affected my life for long enough.”

Miss Powell said that Parker had been jailed twice before at Lewes Crown Court for similar offences.

He was sentenced to five years in February 1977 and in January 1981 he was given 15 months after abusing a boy he befriended at the animal sanctuary where he was working.

Jonathan Ray, mitigating, said: “He’s not a well man. He has prostate cancer and breathing problems. He has a trapped nerve in his spine and … is partially blind.

“Unprompted, this defendant has said to me today that he is sorry and he knows that he will probably die in prison.”

Judge Waddicor said that he had had years to show that he was sorry and had got away with his offending for many years.