Man jailed for non-recent child sex offence - Houghton Regis

04/08/2017

The past caught up with Stephen Bates today, Friday, 4 August 2017, when he was jailed for three years for a sex offence on a young boy, which took place more than 20 years ago in Houghton Regis.

Bates, then in his mid 20s, had been alone with the boy in the living room of a house he was visiting and, as they both sat on a sofa, he indecently assaulted the youngster.

At Luton Crown Court in June, Bates, who is now aged 49, was found guilty of indecent assault on a male person. He had pleaded not guilty.

The  offence was said to have taken place between March 1994 and December of 1995. The court was told that during that time, Bates of Mount Pleasant Road, Clapham, Beds, was a regular visitor to the home of a couple who lived in Houghton Regis with their two young children. Another visitor to the house was a young boy who was friendly with the couple's son.

Giving evidence, the victim told the court he is now 33 and thought at the time of the offence he was between 11 and 12 years old. He said he lived in Houghton Regis at the time and would visit his friend at his home.

The court heard that it was years later that the victim managed to trace the defendant through Facebook and went to the police to tell them what had happened. He said he had suffered psychologically from keeping the secret and did not think he would get over it.

When Bates was questioned he said he had no memory of the incident. The court heard he had been jailed in 1996 for two indecent assaults on young men.

Michael Harrison, defending, said Bates had a number of medical and mental health problems and could not work. He urged the Judge to suspend the sentence. But Judge Lynn Tayton QC said: "This is a matter that is so serious it is not appropriate to suspend the sentence."

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