August 2017

Paedophile offered to buy little boy football cards during sick campaign of abuse

A child rapist who offered to buy a little boy football cards as he subjected him to vile sexual abuse has been jailed for 15 years.

Paedophile Barry Edwards subjected two youngsters to horrific attacks when they were aged between five and 10.

A court heard the vulnerable boys and their relatives have been left traumatised by what Edwards did to them.

He initially denied the offences and one of the young victims was forced to go through the further ordeal of giving evidence against him to a court.

Before the second victim had to do the same, Edwards changed his pleas to guilty at Newcastle Crown Court.

The 34-year-old admitted rape, attempted rape, two counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual activity with a child and causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

Referring to one of the victims, Judge Paul Sloan QC said: “You said if he touched you, you would give him some football cards.

“[The boy] said you forced him to touch you by taking hold of his hand.

“On another occasion you said you would give him football cards, removed clothing and [sexually assaulted him] even though he tried to stop you.

“On another occasion you [carried out a sex attack] and said you would give him money if he co-operated, so he could buy football cards.”

Referring to the rape, the judge added: “He pleaded with you to stop but you carried on.

“You told him what you were doing was to be a secret and he was not to tell anybody because you didn’t want to end up in prison.”

The court heard the abuse left the two young victims traumatised.

Judge Sloan said: “Your offending has had a very significant effect on the two boys. Both boys have had counselling.

“Moreover your actions have … caused irreparable damage and turned the lives of many people upside down.

“You maintained your denials even after the trial had commenced.

“[One boy] gave evidence, [the other boy] attended court and at that stage you entered guilty pleas.

“It’s clear you were targeting boys because of their vulnerability, their youth.” 

As well as the 15-year prison sentence, Edwards, of Ravensdowne, Berwick, who has no previous convictions, must sign the sex offenders’ register and was made subject to a sexual harm prevention order.

The court heard he has a borderline learning disability but was aware what he was doing was wrong.

Lorraine Mustard, defending, said: “He accepts he can’t be near children as he can’t trust himself about how he might act or react in their presence.

“He has converted to a new religion which he says might be a prohibiting factor. He was following another religion during these matters.“

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