June 2018

Paedophile put hand over boy’s mouth before sexually assaulting him

Pervert Paul Rhodes has been jailed for carrying out a serious sexual offence on a schoolboy four decades ago.

The 61-year-old was aged about 21 when he committed the crime against the child on three occasions.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard he put his hand over the youngster’s mouth and told him not to say anything because he would not be believed.

But the victim finally reported the matter to the police in February last year. Rhodes, of St John’s Road, Biddulph, pleaded guilty to buggery on April 30, the day of his trial. He has now been jailed for 10 years.

Prosecutor Martin Liddiard said the defendant had been drinking before he told his victim to be quiet and committed the first sexual offence.

He told the court: “The boy was too scared to tell anybody what had taken place.

“About a week later, he told the victim, ‘You can’t tell anybody, no one will believe you’, before he put his hand over the boy’s mouth and performed the act.”

The court heard the victim told his wife what had happened the day before his police interview in February 2017.

Rhodes’s plea was on the basis it happened on no less than three occasions.

Joanne Wallbanks, mitigating, said the defendant cannot remember committing the offences.

“In the pre-sentence report, there seems to be the beginning of an understanding of how these offences affect victims,” she said. “In the 40 years since, he has committed no further offences.”

Judge Paul Glenn told Rhodes: “Your past has finally caught up with you.

“You committed the offences when you were drunk. He gives a vivid description of the physical pain you caused him and the fear that he felt.

“You told him he could not tell others. You held him down, covered his mouth and you left him bleeding.

“He blamed himself for what occurred, something many victims do. He told his wife the day before he went to the police. He said to her he did not feel like a man anymore and described blanking it out over the years. He has been significantly affected by what happened. He described his childhood was cut short. You took away his dignity and self-esteem. Your actions have affected his life for 40 years and doubtless will continue to do so.

“You do not really express remorse for what you did.”

Rhodes will be on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely and was barred from a range of activities involving children and vulnerable adults.

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