27 years for rapist

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Front Page - BY LYNDA ROUGHLEY

AFORMER Run­corn man was jailed for 27 years for a string of sex of­fences against four chil­dren decades ago.

James Pul­man, 53, showed no emo­tion as the jury re­turned un­ami­mous guilty ver­dicts at Liver­pool Crown Court.

He was con­victed of 30 of­fences in­clud­ing rape and sex­ual as­sault of two boys and the sex­ual as­sault of an­other boy and a girl.

Judge De­nis Wat­son, QC, told him: “You ei­ther tar­geted or ex­ploited very young chil­dren and there was in­tim­i­da­tion of these vic­tims pre­vent­ing any re­port­ing. It was a sus­tained course of con­duct in­volv­ing a con­sid­er­able de­gree of plan­ning and abuse of trust. You have been con­victed of a huge num­ber of crim­i­nal of­fences.”

Pul­man was found guilty of three rapes and 15 in­de­cent as­saults against one vic­tim.

He said that Pul­man is re­spon­si­ble for ‘the com­mo­tion in my life’.

The court heard an­other vic­tim ‘had strug­gled for years with the long shadow over his life’. In his vic­tim state­ment, he told how Pul­man would say how easy it was to kill some­one and make it look like an ac­ci­dent, such as through elec­tri­cal wiring.

An­other boy de­scribed the abuse as the main mem­ory of his child­hood and it had left him feel­ing ‘dirty and ashamed’.

Michael Sc­holes, pros­e­cut­ing, said that the fourth vic­tim was a girl who Pul­man in­de­cently as­saulted, leav­ing her with re­la­tion­ship dif­fi­cul­ties, and she has de­cided to live her life celi­bate.

Pul­man, who lived in Lither­land, Hale­wood and Run­corn, but now of Stour­port Road, Kid­der­min­ster, Worces­ter­shire, made no com­ment about the of­fences, when ini­tially in­ter­viewed by po­lice.

In a later in­ter­view, he gave a pre­pared state­ment deny­ing the al­le­ga­tions and main­tained his in­no­cence dur­ing the trial.

And he sat im­pas­sively in the dock at Liver­pool Crown Court when the judge told him he will not be au­to­mat­i­cally re­leased af­ter serv­ing half his sen­tence but will have to ap­ply to the Pa­role Board.

The judge also im­posed an ex­tra two years’ ex­tended li­cence.

He was also or­dered to sign the Sex Of­fend­ers’ Reg­is­ter for life and an in­def­i­nite Sex­ual Harm Preven­tion Or­der and re­strain­ing or­der were im­posed.

Af­ter the sen­tenc­ing, Mersey­side Po­lice De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Sue En­nis said: “Pul­man’s vic­tims have shown an im­mense amount of brav­ery com­ing for­ward. Time should never be a bar­rier to ob­tain­ing jus­tice and I hope to­day’s sen­tence gives his vic­tims some sense of clo­sure and vin­di­cates their de­ci­sion to come for­ward.

She added: “I would re­as­sure any­one who has suf­fered a sex­ual of­fence that if you can find the courage to come for­ward and speak to us, and we will deal with you sen­si­tively and make sure that re­ports are prop­erly and in­ves­ti­gated.” ●

Pae­dophile James Pull­man, 53

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