August 2018: Watson is dead

December 2015

Paedophile who abused 3 York girls is jailed for 9 years

gary watson

A PREDATORY paedophile has been jailed for nine years and members of his family have been told to “hang their heads in shame” for the way they behaved towards his victims.

Gary Watson had blighted the life of a woman whom he had abused when she was five and his persistent and years-long abuse of two more girls had affected them so badly they had self-harmed and their schooling had suffered, The Recorder of York, Judge Paul Batty QC, said at York Crown Court.

The policeman who brought Watson to justice, Det Con John Atkinson, of York Serious Crime Team, was commended by the judge. The detective praised the victims’ “courage and determination”, and their families for the way they had supported them.

Judge Batty told Watson he was guilty of “predatory abuse” over two decades and had a “dark side”.

When the girls finally broke their silence, Watson had denied the offences and had tried to “assassinate their characters” during his nine-day trial.

As members of Watson’s family listened in the public gallery, the judge told Watson: “The way in which you, and for that matter, members of your family, have pilloried these brave children who have come forward to give evidence, you and they should hang your heads in shame.

“You have tried to bluster your way through this trial, bluster your way and swagger your way out of criminal liability. You gambled and you lost and now it is the day of reckoning.”

Watson, 55, a former rugby league youth coach and former chocolate worker, of Clifton, was convicted by a jury on Thursday of:

indecency with the five-year-old girl

  1. Five sexual assaults

  2. seven charges of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity

  3. One of sexual activity with a child

  • Against the other victims, the abuse starting when one of them was nine and the other 11.

In addition to the nine-year prison sentence, he was given a sexual harm prevention order banning him from life from contacting or staying in the same house as any girl under 16 without social workers’ express consent, among other conditions.

He was also put on the sex offenders’ register for life.

The jury took two hours to decide their verdicts at the end of a nine-day trial, during which they heard how Watson was arrested after one of the sisters told a teacher about the abuse.

He showed no reaction as he was acquitted of one sexual assault but convicted on all the other charges.


Det Con Atkinson said: “Beneath his veneer of jovial respectability, Watson was a predatory paedophile whose vile conduct only came to light when the victims found the courage to disclose his offending to professionals, family and police.

“It is to Watson’s shame that having been confronted with his crimes he subjected his victims to a further two years of anguish as they waited to face him in court. He falsely maintained his innocence despite all evidence to the contrary – but to no avail, as the jury saw through his lies.

“It is fortunate that the victims received tremendous support from their families and I commend them for their courage and determination.