2012: Gurney has been released. He was better know by the name ‘Shay’ but may be using a different name now

January 2007

Child sex offender sent to jail

A Royston pub landlord was branded “a predatory, persistent paedophile” by a judge who jailed him for 14 years for child sex offences.

Hugh Martin Gurney, 46, was found guilty of attempted rape and five counts of indecent assault against a girl when she was aged between five and seven.

A trial in December also found him guilty of indecency when the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was 11.

Sentencing at Sheffield Crown Court, Judge Keene ignored probation service reports that Gurney, who used to run the Ship Inn on Midland Road, posed a low risk of re-offending and exercised his powers to impose a longer sentence.

He told Gurney: “You have already indicated you went on to attempt a further offence. In your case there is a high risk of you committing further offences against young girls.

“I take the view that my powers are more extensive than they seem, it is not something that I take lightly.”