July 2015

‘Predatory’ paedophile jailed for 17 years for abusing young boys

A “PREDATORY and manipulative” paedophile has been jailed for 17 years after an 11-year campaign of abuse.

Benjamin Mercer preyed on several young boys in Hornsea when he was aged between his mid-teens and mid-twenties.

His victims were as young as five years old and his offences ranged from touching to rape.

Mercer, formerly of Cliff Road, Hornsea, faced 15 charges – including three of rape, sexual activity with a child, gross indecency and indecent assault – which he denied.

But the jury of 11 men and one woman took just a few hours to find Mercer, 41, guilty of 12 of the 15 original charges. They also found him guilty of a 13th, the lesser charge of attempted indecent assault.

Sentencing Mercer, who now lives in Brighton, Judge David Tremberg, said: “You have been predatory and manipulative and viewed your victims as objects, putting your needs and desires over their welfare.

“You exhibited a capacity to act with premeditation and opportunistically.

“You tested these young boys to see how vulnerable they were.”

Six of the charges related to one victim, which the judge deemed to be some of the most serious.

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