July 2016

Taunton man jailed after admitting sex offences against 10-year-old boy


A Taunton man who abused a 10-year-old boy has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.

Benjamin Seldon, 21, from Greenlands, clutched his side and shook as the judge told him he had “stolen years of youth” from his victim.

Taunton Crown Court heard that Seldon, from Greenlands, engaged in a string of sexual activities and carried out sexual assaults on the boy between July 1 and August 29 last year.

Last month, shortly before facing a trial, he pleaded guilty to three charges of sexual activity with a child under the age of 16, and three charges of sexual assault against a child under the age of 13. He had previously pleaded guilty to charges of possessing indecent images of children.

Prosecuting, Tara Wolfe, said Seldon had befriended the boy – and some of his friends – last summer. He had access to a swimming pool and children used to go to his home to play there.

The victim had made a number of new friends, and his mother assumed that his new friend Ben was the same age as him.

Her son often came home with sweets, gifts and money. But his behaviour began to change and he complained of physical problems, before admitting to her that his friend Ben had “been rude to him” and had told him he would kill him if he told anyone what he had done.

When interviewed by police, the victim said Seldon had masturbated in front of him on several occasions, in a car parked on his drive. He told the boy that if he did not allow him to touch him, he’d punch and hurt him.

He abused the boy, despite his pleas for him to stop, and on one occasion shot him in the thigh with a BB gun when he refused to co-operate. He also showed the boy pornographic images on his phone.

When Seldon was arrested by police, they found 26 indecent images of children on it.

He told police he denied the charges against him, saying that he suffered from anxiety and did not get on well with people his own age, but had not touched the boy.

He refused to comment about the images found on his phone.

In a victim statement from the boy’s mother, she spoke about the psychological impact Seldon had on her child, who had started to self-harm, spoke of suicide and saw Seldon’s face everywhere he turned.

Benjamin Seldon is also now subject to a Serious Harm Prevention Order and a Restraining Order indefinitely, as well as being place on the Sex Offenders’ Register for an indefinite term