Man who groomed and sexually abused two teenagers over 14 years sentenced to 18 years in prison

54-year-old Karl McLeish groomed his victims, plying them with alcohol and pornography and also getting them money and odd jobs, all with the end of sexually abusing them


                            Man who groomed and sexually abused two teenagers over 14 years sentenced to 18 years in prison

A British man who groomed and sexually assaulted two teenage boys over a period of 14 years was sentenced to 18 years in prison on Wednesday.

According to reports, 54-year-old Karl McLeish from Penny Lane, Haydock, groomed his victims, plying them with alcohol and also getting them money and odd jobs, all with the end of sexually abusing them.

The Liverpool Crown Court heard in shock his methods of first gaining the trust of his victims. The sexual assaults took place in many different locations, the notable ones being St. Helens, London, and Somerset.

McLeish denied the charges, but the jury found him guilty of 13 counts including rape, attempted rape, sexual assault, indecent assault, and sexual touching.

The Liverpool Echo reported that in one of the cases, McLeish even engaged in sexual intercourse with a dog, which he forced one of the victims to watch. Judge Anil Murray told the pervert that he went to all the places around the UK with the victims and gave them gifts in a cold and calculated way.



 

It was reported that McLeish met his first victim, who cannot be named by the media when he was only 16-years-old. He reportedly gave him alcohol to drink before touching his penis while they were on a trip to London. During one of the sexual assaults, the young child was, according to Judge Murray, "scared and crying, but you just carried on".

Prosecutor Martine Snowdon said that one of the victims has said that he kept the recurring abuse a secret for years because he was afraid of any backlash against him.

The victim has since turned to drugs to cope with the trauma.

Many eyes in the public gallery were filled with tears when friends and relatives of the victims heard that McLeish was going to be sentenced to about 20 years behind bars.

One woman also reportedly stormed out of the courtroom when she couldn't listen to any more horrifying details that were being outlined by the prosecution.

McLeish's second victim was only 14 years old when he became the target of his abuse. He is also the victim that the defendant was being paid to look after.

Judge Murray said: "You were in a position of trust and you groomed him. You took him to events around the country, you got him gifts and said you'd give him cigarettes...you showed him pornography...you told him you would batter him if you didn't return."

The furious judge also said that McLeish's abuse of that victim all started when he touched the boy over his clothing but this soon morphed into rape after the vile man threw the teen onto a bed and sexually abused him. The now-adult victim still suffers from regular night terrors and is reported to have woken up often screaming. It is said that he has lost trust in people completely and even attempted to take his own life once.

Liverpool Crown Court (Source: Google Maps)
Liverpool Crown Court (Source: Google Maps)

The sexual predator was reportedly emotionless as the case was being put before him in court and did not even react as he was being led to the cell. Michael Hegarty, his attorney, said that he used to be a man of good character who looked after his elderly and sick mother. 

The pre-sentencing report concluded that McLeish still has "distorted thinking" towards children and a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) was imposed against him. It is also compulsory for him to sign the Sex Offender's Register for life.

Judge Murray also said that the fact that McLeish's offenses took place over a period of 14 years showed that his sexual offenses were "entrenched".

It was also heard in one of the victims' impact statements how the sexual assaults "devastated" the life of the first victim and caused him to turn to drugs and lose a lot of weight. Snowdon said: "He has been unable to move on from it," and also described how his life was "ruined" because of the abuse.

The second victim reportedly still has to sleep with the light on and with his parents sitting in his bedroom until he falls asleep. Snowdon added that the victim wets his bed which he finds "embarrassing" and is in a "constant state of vigilance at college".

She continued: "He is in constant fear of McLeish coming back. He cannot understand why these terrible events happened....he's threatened to take his own life and so his family has to know where he is and that he is safe." His parents also said that they were "living in fear and stress".

Defense attorney Hegarty said that his client had "grave concerns" about how his sickly 81-year-old mother would be able to cope while he was in jail. The attorney pleaded with Judge Murray to not impose any extra sentence for the protection of the public.