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Man jailed for child sex acts
9:30am Wednesday 25th September 2013 in News
A 64-YEAR-OLD man who went on the run before a jury could find him guilty of a sex attack on a vulnerable boy has been jailed for 20 months.
Christopher Young failed to turn up at court when he was on trial for a series of historic offences against two children in the 1980s and 1990s.
After his barrister made his closing speech, the defendant left the hotel where he had been staying and did not return.
When his room was searched in July this year, the crutches he had been using were found, along with his full suitcase.
The judge at Swindon Crown Court then summed up the case with an empty dock telling the jury to ignore the fact that Young was not there.
Once they had convicted him of just one of the 16 charges he faced, he was tracked down by the police and has now been brought before the judge to face sentencing.
He was found after collapsing at Bristol Temple Meads station having spent a few nights sleeping on the beach at Weston-super-Mare.
Young, now of Gloucester, abused the lad, who has learning difficulties, in the Rodbourne area of Swindon in the early 1990s.
Michael Forward, defending, said his client still denied the allegations, insisting they never happened.
“He absented himself from the trial. I asked him why. He told me that the pressure of the occasion got to him,” he said.
“He left where he was staying in Swindon and went to sleep on the beach at Weston-super-Mare having withdrawn £70 in cash and living on that.
“He collapsed when trying to get a train back to Gloucester, where he was living, on the platform at Bristol Temple Meads where he had to change.
“He was taken to hospital and arrested at hospital and has been in custody ever since.”
Mr Forward said Young was 64 and in bad health, taking a concoction of medication during the day. The court heard that Young was jailed for a year in 1982 for attempting to choke, suffocate or strangle with intent to commit an indictable offence, a matter which had a sexual background.
Jailing him, Judge Douglas Field said: “The serious aggravating features is that the boy was particularly vulnerable. He was intellectually impaired.
“There is no doubt in my mind that you took advantage of this situation both in engineering the offending and in confiding that it would never be disclosed.
“Notwithstanding the fact that you are 64 and in ill health I regard this as serious offending.”
As well as jailing him for 20 months he also told him he would have to register as a sex offender for 10 years.
The jury found Young not guilty of two rapes, two other serious sex assaults and four indecent assaults.
They failed to reach verdicts for five other indecent assaults and one gross indecency and prosecutors decided not to seek a retrial and offered no evidence.
All but two offences related to the boy while the remaining were on a young girl.