November 2015

91-year-old paedophile fails to convince judges he should be released from prison

A 91-year-old paedophile from Colchester has failed to convince judges he should be freed because he’s too old to cope in prison.

Second World War veteran John Drury was convicted of 11 counts of indecent assault of a female aged under 16 and two counts of gross indecency with a child in 2005.

He was jailed for four years and released in 2008.

But in 2011, he was given a sexual offences prevention order which prohibited him from unsupervised contact with children aged under 16.

Drury, of Mersea Road, breached the order twice, Judge Juliet May QC told London’s Court of Appeal.

He was jailed for eight months in 2012 for one breach and received a 12-month conditional discharge for another last year.

However, in December last year, Drury breached his order for a third time.

He spoke to an 11-year-old boy at a bus stop and then got on the same bus as the youngster.

He found out the boy’s age, gave him a photo of himself, told him his home address and invited the boy to come over, said the judge.

However, the boy told his mum and police were called.

Drury admitted the breach and got a 12-month jail term at Chelmsford Crown Court in May.

He was handed another 12 months for breaching the conditional discharge, meaning he was jailed for two years in total.

Frank O’Toole, for Drury, argued his jail term was far too tough considering his advanced age and ill-health.

Drury, he added, had an extensive war record having served in the RAF.

The barrister said Drury takes 20 pills a day, is profoundly deaf and easily confused.

His memory is fading and he wakes up not knowing where he is and feels he is getting worse, both physically and mentally.

He told the hearing Drury can’t cope in prison. The court heard he has recently been placed in lockdown for 23 hours a day.

Mr O’Toole argued Drury’s remaining sentence should be suspended and he should be placed on curfew.

But Judge May said Drury had repeatedly ignored the order and his sentence was justified.

The judge, who was sitting with Lady Justice Hallett and Mr Justice Edis, rejected the appeal.

March 2012

Paedophile pensioner could be back on the streets in days

A PAEDOPHILE pensioner could be back on the streets of Colchester within days.

John Drury broke the terms of a sex ban by speaking to three young girls in the town centre last November.

The 86-year-old was jailed for eight months, but as he has been in custody since his arrest, he has served most of the sentence.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard how the convicted paedophile would have served half of the eight-month sentence before he was released.

But as he has been on remand for 117 days, he has served the equivalent of nearly four months.

Recorder Patricia Lynch QC told Drury it would have been a longer prison sentence if the matter had been more serious.

Drury had not upset or distressed the girls and they only realised something was wrong when police spoke to them later on, the judge said.

There had been no improper behaviour and he had only asked the girls if they had pressed the button at a road crossing.

Drury’s guilty plea to breaking the conditions of the order had also saved the girls the ordeal of giving evidence in a trial, the court heard.

The pensioner, from Mersea Road, Colchester, had been due to face trial accused of breaking the terms of the sexual offences prevention order.

But when he appeared in court, the former RAF electrician admitted the matter.

Katrina Jamieson, prosecuting, said Drury had been banned under the order from speaking to any child under the age of 16.

The order had been granted after police became concerned over Drury’s behaviour after he was released from a prison sentence for abusing little girls.

On November 10 last year – two months after the order was imposed – Miss Jamieson said the three girls aged 12 were waiting at a pelican crossing with seven or eight members of the public in Queen Street at around 3.45pm.

Drury was seen to ask the girls if they had pressed the button to cross the road and when one of them said yes, he replied “press it again it will go faster”.

Police in the area at the time arrested Drury after he was seen talking to the girls, Miss Jamieson told the court.

David Howell, mitigating, said none of the girls involved had been upset, shocked or distressed in any way.

Recorder Lynch told Drury: “Keep away from young children. Do not talk to them, do not look at them.”

October 2005

Pervert pensioner jailed for sex attacks

A JEHOVAH’S Witness who lured vulnerable young girls into his life before carrying out a series of sex attacks has been jailed for four years.

Pensioner John Drury had denied the abuses, carried out in the early 1990s, but was found guilty on 13 out of 14 counts at Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday.

The 80-year-old, who sat listening through a hearing loop, showed little emotion as the foreman of the jury returned the verdicts.

The former RAF man befriended the families of the girls, winning their trust, before inviting the youngsters to his six-bedroom luxury home in the Lexden area of Colchester where he allowed them to run wild before abusing them.

The trial had heard how Drury, of Cambridge Road, had attacked the girls as they played innocent children’s games such as hide and seek.

The offences were committed between 1993 and 1996 on eight young girls.

Sentencing Drury, Judge David Turner QC, said the pensioner had lured the children and their families into a false sense of security with his friendly behaviour before attacking the youngsters.

He added: “Few if any children simply bounce back from the sort of abuses you have put these victims through.

“You have lied and lied in the course of this trial and shown no remorse or regret.”

He said he was sure Drury, who had no previous convictions, had in other ways lived a decent life.

However, he said: “There is, I feel, a dark side to your personality which has made you behave in a perverted way and that must be punished.”

Drury had denied 12 counts of indecent assault, but was convicted on 11 of them, and two of indecency with a child under 14 – both of which resulted in guilty verdicts.

He was sentenced to between 8 months and four years on each of the 13 guilty counts, with the sentences to run concurrently.

Judge Turner said told him he would have to serve at least half of the term before the possibility of parole and was placed on the sex offenders’ register for the rest of his life.

Speaking afterwards, officer on the case Detective Constable Charles Cadwallader , said: “People should understand if they abuse children in Essex there will be no escape from justice – it might take weeks, it might take months, in this case it has taken 14 years and the man is now 80, approaching 81.

“I think it is fair to say the police will pursue these people until justice is seen to be done.”

DC Cadwallader, a member of Essex Police’s child abuse investigation unit, also paid tribute to Drury’s victims who braved court to give evidence against the paedophile.

He said: “It is fair to say some of the victims have been quite traumatised by the whole thing – it has affected their lives and relationships, but throughout the trial they have shown great poise and dignity.”