Paedophile with long history of abuse sent to jail

John Atkinson
John Atkinson

Attacker followed his victim for a mile before assault in city alleyway

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A CONVICTED paedophile with a 30-year history of abuse has been jailed for four years after attacking another child.

John Atkinson has committed a string of offences involving children over the past three decades.

In the latest sex attack the 47-year-old, who lived in Chedworth Crescent, Paulsgrove, abused a boy under 16.

At the time of that offence he was on bail after police had raided his home and found thousands of indecent images of children.

Jailing him at Portsmouth Crown Court, Judge Roger Hetherington said: ‘You are a self-confessed paedophile.

‘You took advantage of him. He would have been completely bemused as to what would happen.’

In 1982 Atkinson was convicted of two counts of gross indecency with a child and three of gross indecency.

Two years later he was given a probation order for serious sexual offences involving children.

In 1985 he was jailed for four years for child sex offences and in 1993 he was sent to prison for 10 years for more offences involving children.

Atkinson was subject to monitoring by the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) aimed at reducing the risk he posed.

But despite this, the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, went to his house a number of times in October last year.

Judge Hetherington said: ‘You have an appalling record having served fairly substantial terms of imprisonment in respect of offences against boys of about this age.

‘I have no doubt that you represent a high risk of causing serious harm in the future by further offending.’

Atkinson pleaded guilty to one count of sexual activity with a child, 20 of making indecent images and two of possessing a total of 13,500 indecent images.

A jury found him not guilty of two other charges of raping another boy, also aged under 16, between June and October last year.

Brian Austin, 52, who lived with Atkinson, was also cleared of two counts of raping a boy aged under 16 following their joint trial.

The judge made a sexual offences prevention order banning Atkinson having contact with anyone under 16 on his release from prison, except in everyday life such as shops.

He cannot use the internet to contact children, delete his internet search history or take photographs of children. And he will be on licence for eight years when he is released so that the police can keep a close eye on him.

Pierce Power, defending, said: ‘The extended licence period will be something to hang over his head.

‘He will know exactly what he is looking at if he were to reoffend and coupled with the sexual offences prevention order would satisfy the risk.’