Paedophile youth worker bribed five-year-old with sweets
A former youth worker used his position of trust to sexually abuse two boys over a five-year period.
James Campbell bribed one victim, described as a “lost soul”, when he was five with money and sweets.
Campbell ran a YMCA project group to help troubled youngsters in Glasgow at the time, a court heard, and bosses ignored his colleague’s concerns over his conduct.
The 58-year-old also abused a boy who, aged 14, had to climb out of a window to escape his advances.
When officers raided his home they found 50 indecent photos of the young victim along with a haul of 187,000 child sexual abuse images.
The paedophile was only caught for the offences, committed between 1992 and 1997, when he contacted the older boy, now 37, on Facebook in 2015 saying: “Been trying to find you since 1998, sorry for the past.”
The younger victim, now 26, said he hid £300 of Campbell’s bribe money under his bed.
Campbell was jailed for at least five years at the High Court in Glasgow on Thursday and placed on a lifelong restriction and considered to be at a high risk of reoffending.
The court heard Campbell’s colleagues at the youth project, set up primarily to help local youths escape gang culture, had made complaints to bosses regarding his conduct with young boys but were routinely ignored.
Careers adviser James Little, who worked alongside Campbell at the YMCA for a year between 1996 and 1997, and reported him to his employers at the time, said he is pleased that “justice had finally been done”.
Giving evidence at the trial, the 45-year-old told the court how he became so concerned about Campbell’s relationship with the younger boy that he also contacted the police when the YMCA failed to act but again no action was taken.
Mr Little said it felt like Campbell was “untouchable” as concerns were repeatedly “swept under the carpet” despite numerous complaints from him and colleagues.
He also told how he became concerned after seeing the “lost and vulnerable” five-year-old boy constantly with Campbell at the project that was meant for 12 to 20 year-olds.
He said: “I saw that little boy outside the project building and inside the project building quite a lot. He would always be in the office area with Mr Campbell.
“My gut instinct was he shouldn’t be there but when I challenged the young boy being there it was rubbished or dismissed.”
Mr Little told the court that on occasion he would turn up at the building to find it locked and Campbell inside with the young boy.
He added: “Mr Campbell’s attitude and behaviour was different around this young boy. He used to give him money and treats.
“The boy was a lost soul and very vulnerable, quite unkempt, scruffy, dirty.”
Judge Tom Hughes QC called Campbell a “danger to the public” as he sentenced him to jail for at least five years and placed him on the sex offenders register.
Mr Hughes said: “You were working as a youth worker and had access to both victims. You used your position of trust to carry out these offences.
“It is a matter of great concern that your employers were made aware of concerns from fellow workers and nothing was done about the matter.”
Speaking outside the court, Mr Little said: “I think there has to be an investigation into the YMCA.
“Back then when I and other workers tried to challenge what Campbell was doing we were accused of being on a witch-hunt.”
Former Glasgow youth worker who sexually abused two boys
A former Glasgow youth worker who sexually abused two boys is facing a jail term.
James Campbell, 58, preyed on a five-year-old and a 14-year-old at a community project more than 20 years ago.
Former youth worker James Campbell was convicted of sexually abusing two boys
Campbell, who ran a YMCA project group aimed at helping troubled youths escape gang culture, bribed the youngest child with sweets and cash to perform sex acts.
The High Court in Glasgow heard that the oldest boy had to climb out of a window to escape the pervert.
Judge Tom Hughes QC told him: “This was a gross breach of the trust placed on you in dealing with young people. It was completely and totally unacceptable.”
When officers raided the beasts’ home they found a vile stash of child sexual abuse images – including 50 photos of the 14-year-old he abused.
Jurors heard how he contacted the 14-year-old victim, now 37, on Facebook in 2015, with a message that read: “Thanks for replying.
“Don’t deserve it really. Been trying to find you since 1998 on and off. Well, sorry for the past.”
Campbell claimed that he first met the boy at Maryhill Burgh hall and offered him and his pal money to move a washing machine.
The paedo then claimed he paid the boy each week to wash his close stairs.
But the victim told the jury that Campbell made sexual and inappropriate remarks to him and offered money for sex acts.
Campbell’s other victim was just five and described as a “a lost soul” when he was abused at the community centre where Campbell’s YMCA project was based.
The victim, who is now 26, had £300 under his bed made up of Campbell’s bribes.
But Campbell claimed both victims were liars who alleged they stole the cash from him.
When asked if there was a tariff for how much he paid for sex acts and replied: “I would never do that. I’ve never done that in my life.”
Campbell told the court he is gay and has been with his long-term partner since 1985.
James Little, 45, a careers advisor who worked with Campbell between 1996 and 1997, told how he contacted cops because he had concerns about Campbell and the five-year-old.
But nothing was done.
Mr Little told prosecutor Kath Harper: “He seemed untouchable. Any concerns were swept under the carpet no matter how many times myself and others went to the YMCA about him.
“I saw that little boy outside the project building and inside the project building quite a lot. He would always be in the office area with Mr Campbell.
“My gut instinct was he shouldn’t be there. The project was for 12 to 20-year-olds. When I challenged the young boy being there it was rubbished or dismissed.”
Mr Little told the court on occasions he’d turn up to the centre to find the building locked.
After loud knocking on the door, it would be opened with Campbell and the five-year-old inside.
He added: “His attitude and behaviour was different around this young boy. He used to give him money and treats. The boy was a lost soul.
“He was very vulnerable. He was quite unkempt, scruffy, dirty. I saw the boy sitting on Mr Campbell’s knee.”
Campbell was convicted of sexual abuse committed between 1992 and 1997.
He admitted having a stash of thousands of photographs of children being sexually abused.
He will be sentenced next month.
Judge Hughes told him: “It is almost certain you will be facing a lengthy prison sentence.”
Campbell was placed on the sex offenders’ register.