December 2017

Royston offences catch up with paedophile already serving jail time for previous offences

A pensioner was condemned for “grave crimes” as a court heard how he abused a boy between ten and 12 in Royston almost 40 years ago.

Edward Baxter, 73, who has already been serving two sentences for child sex offences at HMP Whatton in Nottingham since 2013, was sentenced to 12 months yesterday (December 21) at St Albans Crown Court.

Prosecuting, Charles Falk told the court how Baxter, who worked at Johnson Matthey in Royston and coached a youth football team associated with the company, touched a young boy inappropriately.

While pretending to treat this player’s stitch during a game, Baxter slid his hand up the boy’s shorts and under his underwear.

On another occasion, the court heard how Baxter had taken the boy to a swimming pool and laid with him in the grass afterwards to read a book.

While reading, he touched the boy’s bottom with “skin to skin contact”.

Mr Falk said: “Around one and a half years ago, the victim spoke to his wife. At this time there was a lot in the news about football coaches abusing young players.

“He told his wife ‘I was interfered with by a coach’ and ‘I remember him touching my bottom when I got changed’.”

The victim could not remember Baxter’s name and did not want to ask his parents, who worked at the same company as Baxter, because he did not want to bring it up again.

But his family knew something was wrong when he arrived at a family Christmas party last year and “didn’t enjoy himself”.

Baxter was interviewed by police at HMP Whatton in January this year, when he said “if someone is saying I did these things then I probably did”, although he did not admit to all accusations.

He pleaded guilty to four counts of indecently assaulting a boy under 14.

Handing down a sentence, Recorder Jacobs, told Baxter his actions have caused the victim to blame his parents and their relationship has become strained as a result.

He added: “You abused the trust of the company you were working for and abused the trust of the parents who allowed him to play and you abused the trust of a mother because that particular parent had allowed you to take the boy swimming.

“These are grave crimes.”

Baxter committed 39 sex offences between 1969 and 2016 and admitted to police he is attracted to pre-pubescent boys but that a relationship with a mature man “repulses” him.

He is midway through an eight-year sentence for child abuse in Lincoln and was given another eight years for similar crimes in Cambridge in 2016.

His time in prison will end by 2024, meaning today’s sentence, which will run concurrently with the others, will have no impact on his overall term.