July 2018

Eight-year sentence for man who abused 12-year-old boy

A man who raped and repeatedly sexually abused a 12-year-old boy has been jailed for eight years.

Desmond Francis will only be released at the half way point of the sentence if the parole board think it is safe to do so,

When the 57-year-old father-of-six is eventually freed, which could be after the whole eight years, he will be on licence for an extra 12 months and must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

The South African was living in Trowbridge when he carried out the abuse on the youngster.

Francis, who gave the court an address in Upper Weston, Bath, pleaded guilty to rape of a child under 13 and sexual assault.

Swindon Crown Court heard that he used ‘acts of grooming’ to get the schoolboy alone so he could carry out the abuse.

When he was confronted with what the lad claimed, he said he would get help and called the NSPCC, who contacted the police.

Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, said when the child told officers about what had happened he only said the defendant had carried out sex acts on him.

But when Francis was questioned he accepted it had gone further that the lad said, and that he had also got him to perform the same acts on him.

Francis, who gave the court an address in Upper Weston, Bath, pleaded guilty to rape of a child under 13 and sexual assault.

Jailing him, Judge Robert Pawson said “As you, I think, appreciate, this is a serious offence.

“It may not involve force or immediate fear of force. In this case your culpability is rooted in your exploitative behaviour. There was acts of grooming.”

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