March 2018

Paedophile “ruined” lives of four young boys during campaign of sexual abuse

An 84-year-old man who “ruined” the lives of four young boys by sexually abusing them was jailed for 15 years today.

A jury convicted James Reilly of a total of 14 counts which included serious sex offences occurring in Widnes in the late 1980s.

Jailing the pensioner, Judge Anill Murray said: “What you did to them has ruined their lives. You thought you had got away with it but the complainants have had the courage to bring you to justice.”

The judge said that Reilly had taken advantage of the victims and added: “You groomed them, showed them pornography and plied them with alcohol so they would be more likely to do as you wanted.”

He also said that Reilly, of Abbey Road, Widnes, had shown no remorse. In addition to the jail sentence he imposed an extra year on licence after his release.

During the trial the jury at Liverpool Crown Court heard that Reilly abused the boys, two of them brothers, over a two year period when they were aged between eight and 11 years old.

David Watson, prosecuting, said that over the following years when the victims were older they separately told various people what had happened to them.

A relative of one of them contacted the police about what he had told him and shortly afterwards his younger brother also contacted the police about Reilly’s sexual activities with him.

As a result of what he said the third victim was interviewed by officers and the fourth man came forward after a video was put on Facebook by the younger brother saying he had been abused as a child and asking if others had been abused by the same man. He did not name him but gave information about where he lived.

Reilly voluntarily surrendered to Widnes police station in November 2015 and was interviewed on various occasions. He denied knowing any of the boys but all four victims picked him out on identification parades and one also pointed out where the offences had occurred.

He was convicted of offences of indecent assault, indecency, buggery, attempted buggery and attempted indecent assault. Some of the indecent assault offences against three of the boys would now be charged as oral rape.