Febuary 2012

Pervert Coventry ex-squaddie is jailed for 10 years after abusing children

A PAEDOPHILE who sexually abused teenage boys after grooming them on the internet has been jailed for a minimum of ten years.

Former squaddie Thomas Mitchell, 57, of Adelaide Street, Hillfields, Coventry, was told by a judge at Birmingham Crown Court on Saturday that he was a “committed, cunning, determined, depraved, evil, sexual predator.”

It followed a trial at Coventry Crown Court in December in which Mitchell was found guilty of eight counts of sexual activity with children, four counts of grooming boys, one count of causing or inciting a boy to engage in sexual activity, and one count of assault by penetration.

Mitchell admitted making indecent images and videos of children, taking indecent photos of one of his victims, and of distributing an indecent video clip of another. A further seven offences were ordered to lie on file

IT worker Mitchell was acquitted of rape, incitement to rape and meeting a child following sexual grooming.

The court heard Mitchell used social networking sites to meet his victims, all aged between 12 and 15, by pretending to be a much younger man.

Mitchell then used a combination of alcohol, drugs, threats and bribery to ensure he got what he wanted from them.

On one occasion he took photographs of the sister of one of his victims outside her school and her house, and threatened to harm her if the boy did not co-operate with him.

He abused one of his other victims with a glass bottle, drove all the way to Burnley to abuse another, and posted photographs and video clips of him abusing another boy on the internet. The court heard Mitchell was sentenced to 18 months in prison in 1997 for indecently assaulting boys under 16, and had a conviction in 1990 for attempted gross indecency.

Jailing him for an indeterminate sentence for the public’s protection, with a minimum term of ten years, Judge Trevor Faber told him: “The overall picture of your offending paints beyond any doubt at all that you are a committed paedophile.

“You have committed a very large number of serious sexual offences against multiple juvenile victims.

“You targeted, quite deliberately, juveniles on social networking sites.

“You groomed each of the victims deliberately and persistently and, in general terms, you systematically abused your victims over a protracted period of time.

“You were able to groom these victims by claiming to be much younger than you were and, where necessary, by posting a photograph which you purported showed yourself, but which showed an attractive young man some 40 years younger than you.

“You were able to persist in your abuse of your victims by threats and bribery, and by plying them with alcohol and drugs.

“The effect of your crimes cannot be overemphasised. They have been severely violated, and suffered extreme psychological and physical damage.

“I have no difficulty at all in coming to the conclusion that you are an extremely dangerous man.’’

Paul Mytton, defending, said Mitchell was “struggling to come to terms with himself.”

After a career in the army Mitchell was court martialled for an indecent assault on a soldier and spent time in military prison