Update: Now living in the Froncysyllte area of Wrexham

February 2007

Leading RNLI man raped boy repeatedly

ONE of the top lifeboat officials in Wales was yesterday jailed for eight years after admitting repeatedly raping a boy in the 1990s.

John Derrick Jones of Dyserth, near Rhyl, divisional manager for the RNLI Wales and West based in St Asaph, raped the child “dozens of times” when the boy was aged between 11 and 14.

The victim was left so traumatised by the abuse, he later attempted to commit suicide.

Jones, 52, of Glan Fyddion, was also an officer with the army cadets and regarded as a respectable man by friends, colleagues and family.

But Mold Crown Court was told yesterday how Jones harboured a dark secret which was exposed when his victim finally felt able to go to the police years later and recall his ordeal.

Some of the rapes took place in swimming pool changing room cubicles, the court was told.

Jones, formerly of Northwich, Cheshire, was ordered to register as a sex offender for life, and was also banned from working with children for the rest of his life.

The court heard he had no previous convictions.

Jones had served in the Army and Navy, worked on oil rigs, raised money for charity and was a lieutenant in the Army Cadet Force.

Judge David Hale said that when he was arrested last summer he held the responsible position of RNLI divisional manager.

Judge Hale warned Jones, who admitted two specimen rape charges on the boy between 1995 and 1999, that if he had been convicted after a trial with the boy giving evidence, he would have received a 12-year sentence.

The judge said the defendant was guilty of the systematic abuse of the victim over a number of years and had raped him dozens of times, possibly on 20 or 30 occasions.

The case had serious aggravating features including the victim’s youth and the psychological consequences for him, which at one stage led to an attempt upon his own life.

“You at the time of your arrest had an extremely responsible job as divisional manager of the RNLI and you have over the years been a volunteer in the Army Cadet Force, in relation to whom not a word of criticism has been advanced – quite the reverse. They speak very highly of you as do members of your family.

“But that only makes it all the more difficult to understand why you so seriously offended against your victim,” the judge said.

Prosecuting barrister Simon Medland told the court that the boy was 11 when “the really serious stuff started”. The boy was raped dozens of times.

The victim told in an impact statement how, as a result of what Jones did, he had never formed a relationship with another human being.

When arrested, the defendant suffered a fit during interview and in a later interview was reluctant to confront the allegations in any meaningful way.

Defending barrister John Gibson said Jones had been subjected to terrible abuse himself as a teenager at the hands of a circle of men.