April 2019

Depraved perverts abused boy

A depraved and warped couple who carried out a “campaign of rape” against a boy have been sentenced to a total of 38 years.

A jury at York Crown Court heard how Anthony Woodcock, 41, and David Bellamy, 46, turned the boy into their “sexual plaything” in abuse lasting several years.

They would sometimes simultaneously abuse the boy in their then Sherburn-in-Elmet home.

After the jury convicted the pair of 21 sexual offences including 16 of rape, the boy had difficulty holding back tears as he told the court of the effect their crimes had had on him.

The court heard he had nightmares and had been taking anti-depressants since his mid-teens. He also had problems forming relationships.

“My childhood memories are all tainted and damaged because of what they did to me,” he said.

“I feel my life has only just started. I am only just discovering what life should be.

“Their abuse will stay with me forever.”

Judge Andrew Stubbs QC said the couple had carried out a “campaign of rape”.

“You used him as a sexual plaything for your sexual gratification,” he told them.

They had groomed the boy for sex and at an early age had given him the tobacco, drink and “popper” drugs they used in their “dissolute lifestyle”.

“There was additional depravity as the two of you used a variety of sexual toys. This sexual abuse and exploitation extended over many years.”

Woodcock denied 10 charges of rape and two of sexual assault and Bellamy denied six of rape, two of sexual assault and one of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Some of the charges were specimen charges, each covering several different occasions.

The jury convicted the couple, now of Byram west of Selby, on all charges at the end of a six-day trial.

Woodcock was jailed for 20 years and Bellamy for 18. Each will have a year’s extended supervision at the end of their sentence.

They were both put on the sex offenders’ register for life and will be subject to a sexual harm prevention order restricting their contact with children on their release.

Both claimed in the witness box they had not behaved inappropriately towards the boy and that other people who had visited them had not noticed anything unusual going on. Neither had any previous convictions.

York Crown Court heard they ran a village pantomime for years and carried out charitable work.

Opening the prosecution, Paul Newcombe said Woodcock began by grooming the boy and progressed to abusing him. After a period he included his partner Bellamy.

Some of the abuse by Woodcock took place in a layby.

On another occasion, Bellamy abused the boy after getting him to massage him.

The boy, now a man, sat in the public gallery for much of the trial, though at times he had to leave because the experience was too painful.