October 2016

Convicted paedophile got on to bus so he could sit next to boy, 12

A paedophile deliberately boarded a bus at school closing time so he could sit next to a young boy, a court heard.

Anthony Hall suggested to the 12-year-old they should meet in a park and he would bring “chocolate and a blanket”.

A court was told that although he had not offended in two decades, he was a “high risk” to children.

Mr Walter Bealby, prosecuting at Stafford Crown Court, said that Hall, 72, took regular trips on the Uttoxeter to Burton bus route and had spoken to the victim over a two-week period.

He said the grooming included stroking the boy’s hair and CCTV on the bus had shown Hall moving seats to sit next to the schoolboy.

After the proposal to meet at the park, the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told his parents and the police were alerted.

On one occasion he suggested to the 12-year-old boy they should meet at a Burton park and he would bring ‘a blanket and some chocolate’ with him.

Recorder Abigail Nixon described Hall as a “predatory paedophile” and said it was clear it had been his intention to engage in some form of sexual contact with the boy.

She said aggravating features were that Hall had blamed the boy for talking to him, and had later urged the youngster not to tell his parents. Recorder Nixon said that while Hall had not offended in this way for almost two decades, reports indicated he was a ‘high risk’ to children.

Hall, who appeared in court via a video link from HMP Dovegate, had admitted three charges relating to the arranging or facilitating child sexual offences in September and October last year. He was jailed for 12 months and must be on the sex offenders’ register for the next 10 years.

Hall, of Hillside, Tutbury, was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order which will remain in place until any further order is made by the court.

The court heard the defendant had several previous convictions for indecent assaults, involving males and females, dating back to the mid-1960s and for offences of dishonesty.