December 2016

Former pub landlord behind bars after being convicted of sex abuse


A FORMER pub landlord who groomed and exploited a young’s boy’s vulnerability for his own sexual gratification has been jailed.

James Mason, of Northwich Road, Lower Stretton, was jailed for 11 years at Manchester Minshull Crown on Monday after being convicted of 10 counts of sexual abuse against a child following a trial.

But despite a jury returning a unanimous verdict after hearing the evidence of the case in October, the 55-year-old, who previously worked at the Ring O’ Bells pub in Lower Stretton, continues to steadfastly deny his guilt.

He asked the victim to ‘do the same’ but he had to leave when he heard someone heading towards the room.

There were no further incidents reported until the victim reached his teenage years and started to struggle with his sexuality.

The victim thought he developed a ‘mutual loving bond’ with Mason during the years that followed.

Prosecuting, Henry Blackshaw told the court that Mason used this to his advantage.

He said: “There is a pattern of grooming behaviour that has gone on over a number of years.”

As a result of the sexual abuse, the victim now struggles emotionally to cope – in particular when developing new relationships.

But David Farley, defending, said Mason, who has previous convictions for drink driving in 2006 and criminal damage in 1993, continues to maintain his innocence.

He added: “He has family and friends sat in court. Knowing of the jury’s findings they still stand by him.

“They know him as a man who has always been helpful, friendly and trustworthy.”

But during sentencing, Judge Timothy Mort said Mason is now in denial about his actions.

He said: “You were older than him and he came to trust you and you abused that trust shamelessly.”

He added: “For your family this is a very strange case as you have always presented yourself as being a heterosexual male who has been in previous relationships.

“You have a child and you are still in a heterosexual relationship which makes it all the more surprising what the jury had to hear.”

Mason must serve half of his sentence before being released from prison after being convicted of five counts of indecent assault on a male, four counts of gross indecency with a boy under 14 and one count of buggery.

A sexual offences prevention order has been imposed.

October 2016

Man awaits sentence after jury find him guilty of child sex offences

A MAN has been found guilty of a string of child sexual offences following a five-day trial

James Mason, of Northwich Road, Lower Stretton, stood trial for five counts of indecent assault on a male, four counts of gross indecency with a boy under 14 and one count of buggery.

The 55-year-old was found guilty by a jury who returned a unanimous verdict following five hours and 16 minutes of deliberations.

Last year Mason appeared at Bury and Rochdale Magistrates’ Court following his arrest.

But due to the serious nature of the charges the case was moved to Minshull Street Crown Court with the trial beginning on October 3.

Mason now awaits sentencing on November 21 after the judge ordered a pre-sentence report.