THE mother of a girl who was abused by a paedophile says he has stolen her daughter’s childhood.
Over a period of two years John Burns molested five girls aged between nine and 12 while they were out playing in their Gosport neighbourhood.
Now a judge has ordered the 21-year-old must be kept at a secure mental health hospital until doctors believe he is safe to be released.
The mum of one of the girls, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said: ‘He is a vile person.
‘It makes me sick to my stomach to think what he did.
‘You look at him and think he’s simple and he wouldn’t harm anybody but then he did this. It’s just disgusting.
‘It’s a child’s innocence he has taken away from them.’
Burns still denies the offences, which meant the woman and her daughter both had to give evidence during the trial at Portsmouth Crown Court.
‘It was horrendous,’ she said.
‘The trial was very traumatic for her. It’s been such a stressful time for her.’
Burns, of Chalton Crescent, Havant, was convicted by a jury of five counts of sexual assault on a child under 13.
Sentencing him, Judge Richard Price told him to face up to what he had done.
‘These were disgusting offences,’ he said.
‘You took advantage of these children and you knew perfectly well what you were doing and you knew perfectly well that it was wrong.
‘You used young children for your own sexual gratification.
‘You have been assessed as being a danger to children and in my judgement you represent a serious risk to children.
‘There’s no doubt that you do have significant mental health issues and there’s no doubt that all the professionals involved in this case say that detention in a hospital under a hospital order offers the best prospect of preventing you from ever doing this sort of thing to children again.
‘I want you to be under no misunderstanding, you won’t get out until the doctors say you are safe, so stop this rubbish of being in denial.
‘You know what you did. You will stay detained in hospital until such time as the doctors say that you are safe. It may be years, it may be never.’
The victims were repeatedly abused between 2009 and 2010.
Burns will be detained at Westview, a mental health unit in Southampton.
When he is released he will have to stick to the conditions of a sexual offences prevention order (SOPO), designed to stop him abusing any more children.
The order bans him from living in a house with children, having any contact with children or working with them. He will be on the sex offenders’ register for seven years.