August 2016

‘Pick a card’ paedophile jailed for seven years after young victims suffered ‘degrading’ abuse


A FORMER nightclub owner has been jailed for seven years for the “systematic and degrading” sexual abuse of three young children 35 years ago.

George Roberts, 67, strung a girl up by her feet and pulled down her clothing and made two of his victims pick a card to see who would have to perform sex acts on him.

Roberts, of Woodhouse Drive, Woodhouse, Keighley, was yesterday convicted by a jury at Bradford Crown Court of 15 offences of indecency with a child, one attempted indecent assault, incitement to commit buggery and four counts of indecent assault on a child.

He was cleared on the direction of Judge Robert Bartfield of two further allegations of indecent assault.

Roberts, who uses a walking frame and takes a cocktail of painkilling drugs, had come to court prepared to go to prison, his barrister Rebecca Young said after the verdicts.

She said there was another side to the former Keighley businessman, who ran pubs and a club and was the boss of a taxi company.

He had won a citizen’s award for defending a police officer from attack and had led an exemplary life in the 35 years since abusing the three children.

The judge told Roberts: “Over a number of years you systematically and repeatedly abused them sexually for your own pleasure until they were old enough to stop you.”

Roberts bribed one terrified little girl with sweets and made the boy physically sick.

Judge Bartfield said Roberts had stolen his victims’ peace of mind.

“You have shown not a jot of remorse for the way you have degraded these three young people,” he said.

He conceded Roberts was in poor health, with serious mobility problems.

During the trial, the complainants, now in middle age, told how they suffered a decade of sexual and physical abuse at the hands of Roberts.

They said they were strung upside down from a beam and molested in a secret den made of straw bales.

The man said Roberts made him and a little girl pick a card to see who was going to be abused.

He also showered naked with a girl aged ten, repeatedly asked her to go to bed with him and shut one of his female victims in a chest freezer.