May 2017

Paedophile smuggled boy into his home in a car boot

A PAEDOPHILE hid a boy in his car boot in order to prevent neighbours seeing him as he smuggled the teenager into his home.

Town planner Anthony Whitehead, now 65, was caught following a police investigation into alleged child abuse by the late MP Cyril Smith and others at the former Knowl View residential school in Rochdale.

At Bolton Crown Court, he stood with his eyes closed and head down as Judge Timothy Stead sentenced him to nine years in prison.

A jury had heard how Whitehead met a 13-year-old boy near the school and, over a period of two years in the early 1990s, groomed him and took him back to his home in Junction Road, Deane, where they engaged in sex acts.

The court had heard how the victim was a troubled child who was sent to the residential school due to truanting and first met Whitehead when the defendant, then aged 40, offered him a lift.

Whitehead was near the school, miles away from home, when he spotted the boy and his friend. They had missed their bus and Whitehead offered them a lift into Rochdale.

On a second occasion the boy saw Whitehead sitting in his car and watching him, but he ran away fearing the man could be a police officer.

Whitehead then met the teenager again, gave him his telephone number and offered to pay for sex.

The town planner later admitted to police that he had given the boy his business card, but claimed it was a charitable act as he was helping him to find work.

Initially the pair met in Whitehead’s red Renault car and they would engage in a sex act.

Then the boy would telephone Whitehead, who would pick him up from various locations and take him back to his Bolton home.

“The defendant used to put him in the boot of his car so that neighbours would not see him taking a young boy into the house,” said Mark Kellet, prosecuting.

Whitehead would drive the car into the integral garage, close the door and then let the teenager out of the boot.

The boy was later able to give police a detailed description of the interior of the three storey town house where Whitehead had sex with him.

Whitehead would pay the boy with cash and gifts.

In his late teens the boy spent time in prison and Whitehead kept in touch with him — after his release they met up and went to a hotel for sex.

When questioned by police investigating Knowl View School, the boy revealed that he had been paid for sex by Whitehead.

The abuser was arrested by police in April, 2015, but claimed the allegations were false and alleged that the boy and another man armed with a gun had tied him and his wife up, assaulted and robbed them.

He said he was working in South Manchester when first met the boy.

But he claimed he declined the teenager’s offers of sex and they only had a brief intimate relationship once the boy was older.

At the sentencing hearing Mr Kellet stressed that Whitehead had carried out significant planning and grooming of the boy.

Judge Timothy Stead was also told that Whitehead had committed the offences just a short time after being released from a nine month prison sentence for indecently assaulting another boy.

Brian McKenna, defending, told the court that Whitehead’s wife is standing by him and testimonials described him as a “kindly and considerate” man.

“He seems to have led an industrious lifestyle, always in work and has contributed well to society.”

Sentencing Whitehead to nine years behind bars, Judge Stead told him: “You have an inclination to commit offences against young boys.”