A CHILD abuser who avoided justice for four decades has finally been jailed for more than eight years after a jury found him guilty of sex offences against a young boy and girl.
Harry Mason, 58, of Hardings Lane, Cross Hills, began abusing his two victims in the Keighley area back in the 1970s and a court heard how he made threats to both of them to keep them quiet.
Recorder John Thackray said Mason had told the young boy he would kill his parents if he told anyone about the abuse which began when the defendant himself was still a teenager.
The judge said Mason had “bribed” the girl with magazines and sweets and had lured her away by asking her to look for jigsaws.
Mason, who had denied all the charges, was cleared by the jury on some of the allegations, but he was found guilty following a trial at Bradford Crown Court of seven sexual offences involving both complainants.
Recorder Thackray said at last week’s sentencing, that the two complainants, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, were “haunted” by what Mason had done to them.
He said Mason’s offending had impacted profoundly upon them and affected all aspects of their lives.
The judge said Mason had committed “vile and disgusting acts” against the female complainant who was still haunted by flashbacks of the abuse.
“In my judgement she has suffered over and above what is usually seen by these courts and I make that judgement having seen and heard her give evidence,” said the judge.
Recorder Thackray said the sexual abuse of the male complainant was “opportunistic” but the youngster had been terrified by the threat to kill his parents.
“He still has nightmares about what you did to him,” said the judge.
Mason was found guilty of indecent assault and indecency with a child and Recorder Thackray sentenced him to eight-and-a-half years in jail with an additional licence period of one year.
Mason, who will only be released after his case is considered by the Parole Board, will also have to register as a sex offender with the police for the rest of his life.
The judge said Mason’s work record and testimonials carried little weight in such a case and he had to concentrate on the fact that his victims had had forty years of suffering.