August 2011

Jail for child sex offender, 57

A WESHAM man convicted of carrying out sex offences on a young boy has been jailed.

Preston Crown Court heard how Joseph Shepherd was found guilty by a jury – but still protested his innocence.

The 57-year-old, of Weeton Road, Wesham, had been convicted of three charges of sexual activity with a boy.

The court heard that two of the offences had involved him kissing the youngster and a third of touching the child.

Julie Taylor, defending, told the court her client – who worked in a biscuit factory – continued to deny the offences.

He had also been convicted of offences against a different child around 30 years ago.

His partner is said to be standing by him. But the court heard Shepherd had been banned from a local pub after his convictions became known.

Judge Graham Knowles QC told Shepherd the boy had been hurt and damaged by what he did.

He said: “Your conduct was completely self centred and wrong and it merits punishment.”

The judge told him the offences involved grooming and an attempted seduction.

He added: “You attempt to portray yourself as naive and simple, but you are a shrewd and calculating individual.”

Judge Knowles referred to part of a report where a probation officer assessed Shepherd as a predatory and manipulative individual who did not acknowledge the stress and harm sexual offences can cause a victim.

He was jailed for nine months.