David Hollyoake – Cardiff and Keith Fricker – Coventry 

Friends who met in the Army carried out ‘vile’ child abuse together

David Hollyoake groomed one victim before taking him to Keith Fricker’s home where they abused the boy together

David Hollyoake (left) and Keith Fricker (right)

A man who was sexually abused by two adults while he was a schoolboy says his life has been destroyed by their “vile” offending.

Friends David Hollyoake and Keith Fricker, who met during their time in the Army, denied historic child sexual offences but were found guilty following a trial at Cardiff Crown Court.

Judge Philip Harris-Jenkins told the defendants: “I find it to be the case, on the evidence, that you shared a common interest in the sexual abuse of young males.”

Hollyoake, 59, from Romilly Road in Cardiff, was found guilty of 30 counts – including rape, indecent assault, and gross indecency.

His “old friend” Fricker, 62, from Taunton Way in Coventry, was found guilty of one count of indecent assault.

The court heard the offences involved two boys, who were teenagers at the time, and related to the 1990s and early 2000s.

In his sentencing remarks the judge noted Hollyoake used “classic predatory paedophile grooming techniques”.

Prosecutor James Wilson said the first victim was vulnerable and “isolated” due to his family circumstances and was bullied at school. Hollyoake befriended the boy and bought him cigarettes.

Judge Harris-Jenkins told the defendant: “You used his vulnerability to your own ends.”

Prosecutors said Hollyoake developed the boy’s trust before taking him to Fricker’s home where they sexually abused him together.

Mr Wilson read out a personal statement from the first victim, who described the abuse as “disgusting, vile and sick”.

He said: “The abuse I suffered as a child has destroyed my life. I still see those images of abuse in my mind.”

The victim stated he turned to alcohol and drugs to try and help him cope and also harmed himself and tried to kill himself.

He explained he had suffered from mental health problems and still finds it difficult to form relationships.

His statement concluded: “I can’t change the past – I just hope there is still a future in my life.”

Judge Harris-Jenkins told the defendants: “There is no doubt that the abuse perpetrated by you has blighted his life.”

Prosecutors said Hollyoake gave the second victim “hush money”.

The court heard he asked the second boy to go to Fricker’s house with him but the boy said no.

Prosecutors argued the aggravating features in Hollyoake’s case included the fact there were two victims and the offending took place over a number of years.

Tim Evans, defending, said his client maintained his denials despite the verdict of the jury.

He accepted: “These are very serious offences and he has to be seriously punished – he knows that.”

Mr Evans emphasised Hollyoake had no relevant previous convictions.

The judge noted his “repeated pattern of behaviour”, adding: “This was nothing short of a campaign of sexual abuse.”

Prosecutors said Fricker had relevant previous convictions for abusing boys dating back to 1986 and 2001.

David Elias QC, defending, said the single count on this indictment was an “isolated offence” and argued his client was not involved in the grooming.

He told the court the Probation Service considered Fricker to be rehabilitated following his previous sentence and asked the judge to consider an alternative to an immediate prison sentence.

But Judge Harris-Jenkins said: “This is a case where only an immediate custodial sentence can meet the gravity of the offending.”

Hollyoake was jailed for 22 years and Fricker for three years.

Speaking after the hearing Detective Constable Matthew Lindsey, from South Wales Police, praised the victims for their courage.

He said: “I hope today’s significant sentences send out a message to other victims of historical sexual offences that it is never too late to report such crimes or for justice to be served.

“We would like to commend the victims and their family for the courage they have shown in reporting these matters and allowing us to put these dangerous men behind bars.”

A spokesman for NSPCC Cymru said: “Hollyoake and Fricker subjected their victims to horrendous abuse.

“It is vital that victims are able come forward and be listened to so that predators like them can face justice for their crimes.

“Survivors of abuse should also receive the best possible support to overcome the trauma they have gone through.”

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/friends-who-met-army-carried-13247952

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