Merseyside man sentenced to 18 years for sexually abusing two boys

|News, Sexual offences

A 57-year-old man from Merseyside has been sentenced to 18 years in jail for sexually abusing two boys who thought the defendant was a friend.

Karl McLeish, of Penny Lane in Haydock was found guilty after a trial at Liverpool Crown Court of a total of 13 counts of sexual abuse against two teenage boys.

The counts included four attempted rapes against one boy and two rapes against the other.

He was sentenced on Wednesday 5 December 2018. His sentence includes an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) which includes stipulation that he must not have any unsupervised contact with a boy under the age of 16.

Matthew Lacey, Senior Crown Prosecutor with the Crown Prosecution Service’s Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) unit, said: “Karl McLeish’s offending followed a common pattern in this area of criminality.

“He groomed his victims, aged 15 and 16 when the offences began, by buying them gifts, giving them money or taking them on holiday.

"His victims both initially saw him as a friend and McLeish knew their families. The offending against one of the boys happened in 2002, the other during 2015 and 2016.

“McLeish abused the trust in which he was held by his victims and their families and assaulted the boys on a number of occasions.

“One boy was abused after offering to help McLeish on his allotment, the other got to know the defendant after offering to help out on a farm that McLeish ran on behalf of a friend.

"One boy described McLeish to police as ‘weird’ and said he would lose his temper if he didn’t get his own way.

 “His advances were clearly rejected by his victims, yet McLeish persisted. They were just children at the time and were left confused and humiliated.

"In a Victim Personal Statement read to the court, one victim said that McLeish had ‘ruined his life’.

“Sexual offenders very often think nothing of the effect of their actions on their victims and the lifelong repercussions they can have. Instead, they focus on their own sexual gratification.

"McLeish’s victims found the courage to come forward and report what had happened. The Crown Prosecution Service brought this prosecution with the help of evidence gathered by Merseyside Police and Karl McLeish is now behind bars for a long time.

"We hope that the victims continue to find the courage and help to move on with the rest of their lives.”

Notes to editors

  • The Sexual Harm Prevention Order means that the defendant is prohibited from: - 
  1. having any unsupervised contact or communication of any kind with any boy under the age of 16, other than:
    • (a) such as is inadvertent and not reasonably avoidable in the course of lawful everyday life; or
    • (b) except in the presence of, and with the consent of, the child's parent or guardian (who has knowledge of his convictions).
  2. making an application for or occupying any employed or voluntary position, whether paid or not, which involves any contact with a boy under the age of 16, save as in the exceptions within prohibition (1) above."
  3. changing his name or using any name other than Karl McLeish without first notifying the Chief Constable for the area in which the defendant lives.
  4. staying overnight outside the area in which the defendant lives without first notifying the Sex Offender Unit of the area where the defendant resides, of the intention to travel and the details of the destination(s).

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