October 2021

Dangerous paedophile who abused children for 27 years will likely die in jail

A “dangerous” sex offender who repeatedly abused two girls and a boy was jailed for 19 years.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that it was “unlikely” John Woodward, a 74-year-old granddad, will live long enough to complete his custodial term.

He has to serve two thirds of it before he can apply for parole and the judge imposed an extended licence of four years after ruling that he is an offender of particular concern

His two female victims, sitting in the public gallery for the hearing, wept and hugged each other after Woodward, who appeared via video link, was sentenced.

In an impact statement one of them told how she used “to take scalding hot baths in order to feel clean” because of what he had done to her.

Her mental health had been affected and she had been unable to follow business plans she had hoped to carry out.

The male victim also told how he has been left suffering from anxiety and depression.

He had not realised at the time that what Woodward was doing to him was wrong but later appreciated “how bad it was.”

Woodward, of Brookdale, Widnes, had been convicted of 16 sexual offences against the three victims after a trial and Liverpool Crown Court heard that he still maintains his innocence.

Judge Gary Woodhall said that his offending spanned 27 years and he had “exploited their vulnerability” and had groomed them and used bribes of money, alcohol and cigarettes.

Despite knowing that concerns had been raised about sexual abuse involving the third victim and the authorities notified he continued abusing her regardless.

It was only when her mental health broke down that his offending behaviour, which began when she was 13, came to the attention of the police.

She has since been diagnosed with complex post traumatic stress disorder because of his abuse.

He told Woodward, “I am satisfied you are dangerous and will pose such a risk in the future.”

Charlotte Kenny, prosecuting, said that his offending against the first victim took place when she was aged between six and 15 and it occurred against the boy when he was aged 14 and 15, sometimes after showing him pornography.

Miss Kenny said that the offences against the other girl happened on multiple occasions including when he gave her whisky and pulled down her trousers.

On another day he put his hand down her trousers and later gave her vodka and £20 before walking off.

And on a further occasion while kissing her breasts he shockingly said, “s**g me for £50.”

Miss Kenny said: “She has expressed her desire to rebuild her life and aims to move away so she is not going to be reminded of what has happened to her.

“But she has expressed her sadness at having to do that. She said he has stolen her childhood, her education and her mental health.”

The judge ordered Woodward to sign on the Sex Offenders Register for life and imposed an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order and a restraining order not to contact his victims.