Peterborough paedophile jailed three decades after campaign of abuse against young boy

Brian Heron
Brian Heron

A paedophile who sexually abused a boy for five years more than 30 years ago has been jailed.

Brian Heron, of London Road, Peterborough, began the catalogue of abuse against the boy in 1980.

The 72-year-old sexually abused the boy ‘hundreds of times’ in Peterborough, Cambridge Crown Court heard.

The first time it happened he told the boy, who can’t be named for legal reasons, that it would be ‘their secret’ and others ‘would be jealous if they knew’.

The boy, who was aged eight when the abuse began, was also forced to perform sex acts on Heron who was 33 at the time.

He told police Heron was a violent man and he remembered being too scared to tell him to stop.

The abuse stopped five years later but he only felt ready to tell police what had happened in 2014 - more than 30 years after the abuse.

He confronted Heron about 23 years ago, who laughed when challenged about the abuse and made no denials.

Heron was voluntarily interviewed in September 2017 but denied all offences.

He stood trial at Cambridge Crown Court from 29 July and was found guilty of five counts of indecent assault and two counts of rape on a boy under the age of 14 on 6 August.

Heron was sentenced today (8 August) when he was handed a total of 15 years in prison.

He remains on the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely.

DC Amanda Sylvester, from the Child Abuse Investigation and Safeguarding Unit (CAISU), said: “Heron has more than 20 previous convictions for sexual offences against young children and I’m pleased justice has now been done in this case.

“The victim and witnesses have been very courageous and I would like to thank them for their dedication in supporting a conviction.

“I am pleased Heron’s victim was able to disclose the abuse he suffered. No sentence will ever erase what has happened to him, but I hope it will help him move on with the rest of his life.

“Regardless of when it happened, we will always take reports of child sex abuse very seriously.

“Tackling child abuse is a priority for the force and we are working hard every day to keep children safe and bring offenders before the courts.”

An NSPCC spokesperson for the East of England said: “Despite Heron’s threats and manipulation the sickening campaign of abuse he subjected a young boy to has caught up with him thanks to the tremendous bravery of the man he targeted as a child.

“Sexual abuse is never the fault of the victim and this sentence shows it is never too late for survivors to speak out and get support and justice.

“The NSPCC helpline is available for adults to contact for advice about non-recent abuse or to report concerns about a child on 0808 800 5000 or via help@nspcc.org.uk.”

Young people can contact Childline for help on 0800 1111 or via www.childline.org.uk

Anyone who is concerned someone may have been convicted of a sex offence, and could be posing a risk to someone, can apply for disclosure information through Clare’s Law and Sarah’s Law.

For information and advice about child abuse, including sexual abuse, visit the force website: www.cambs.police.uk/childprotection.

Anyone who has concerns about child abuse should contact police on 101 (or report online at www.cambs.police.uk/report), children’s social care or the NSPCC. If a child is in immediate danger always call 999.