Child rapist from Leeds sent boy Facebook messages and made him ‘feel like he wanted to kill himself’
A pervert who raped and committed a series of sex offences against a nine-year-old boy over a period of five years has been given a 15-year sentence.
Christopher Bernard was handed the extended sentence after being found guilty of seven serious sex offences against the youngster following a trial at Leeds Crown Court.
A judge told Bernard he had been found guilty of the offences after the jury heard “compelling” evidence against him.
The court heard the victim was frightened of Bernard and was forced into having the offences committed against him on repeated occasions..
Bernard, 27, carried out the offences at a house in Leeds when the youngster was between the ages of nine and 13.
The offending came to light when Bernard set up a Facebook account in a different name and sent messages to the victim. Bernard sent messages demanding to see the victim.
A relative of the victim saw the messages and persuaded him to tell police.
The court heard the victim continues to suffer from anxiety, has felt suicidal over the abuse he had suffered and is unlikely to ever get over what happened to him.
Bernard, of Nowell Walk, Harehills, was found guilty of three offences of rape and four of sexual activity with a child.
He was told he must serve a 14-year custodial term followed by an extended licence period of one year.
Bernard was told he must go on the sex offender register for life.
Judge Penelope Belcher told Bernard: “You have made him feel like he wanted to kill himself. A lengthy custodial sentence is inevitable. “These are repeated serious offences against a vulnerable child.”