September 2021

Hull predator was ‘like a dad’ to young victims he manipulated and abused

A predatory paedophile used his role as a church worker to abuse boys and young men and tried to buy their silence with cash.

Mark Coletta, 61, was charged with five counts of sexual assault on three different males, ranging from 12 to 22 years old.

Coletta used his role as a support worker at a church in the Hull area to target boys that were vulnerable either due to their age or their circumstances.

Often, his victims turned to Coletta due to family problems or being homeless.

Coletta, whose address is HMP Hull, committed the offences when he was in his 40s and 50s over a lengthy period of time.

Having previously admitted the offences, Coletta appeared at Hull Crown Court this week for sentencing.

The first victim was just 11 when he was sexually assaulted by Coletta.

The boy suffered pain in his legs and Coletta massaged them but he then went further, committing a sexual act and getting the boy to commit one on him.

In a victim impact statement, the complainant said: “I am struggling to put into words what he has done to me. I feel somehow ashamed and guilty.

“Before this happened I had such a good relationship with him. He was a nice man when he was not doing this stuff.

“It has affected me growing up and with my relationships. I don’t trust people now and spend a lot of time alone.”

Coletta had known the second victim since he was little and had taken him swimming and for days out to the likes of Fort Paull.

But there were times when the boy stayed at Coletta’s house and there would be men having sex on the television.

The victim said that when he was around 12 and stayed at Coletta’s house, he would wake up with his clothing disturbed or items undone.

When he was 16 or 17 he woke up to find Coletta touching his bottom.

Coletta later offered the boy £120 to keep quiet and then offered him £2,500 not to say anything.

In a statement, the victim said: “I feel disgusted and angry. I find it difficult to sleep and smoke weed to help me.

“I feel Mark has destroyed every good memory I had in my childhood. He was the only one who cared for me and then he did this.

“It has affected all my relationships and I don’t trust anyone. He was the closest thing I had to a dad and he destroyed everything.

“I now do not miss people. They come and go and I don’t care. I have gone cold.”

Like the others, the third victim had been known to Coletta as a child who often sought refuge at his home.

At the age of 22, the victim was homeless and ended up staying at Coletta’s.

He woke up the next morning to find Coletta grinding him and touching him so he pushed him away and left.

Coletta was handed 36 months in prison for three counts of sexual assault against the first boy, nine months for the sexual assault of the second boy and 12 months for the sexual assault of his third victim.

He will be on the sex register for life and is subject to a sexual harm prevention order for life as well.