March 2014

Heaton paedophile fails to clear his name

A PAEDOPHILE jailed for abusing four boys has failed to clear his name.

James McLaughlin, known as Rob, aged 52, was jailed for three years in October, 2012.

He was convicted by a jury of two counts of sexual activity with a child, one count of attempted sexual activity and one count of sexual assault.

McLaughlin, of Beverley Road,Heaton, took the case to the Court of Appeal where he claimed he had been set up by the boys.

The court heard the four youngsters came forward to complain of sexual abuse at McLaughlin’s home on various occasions between 2009 and 2011.

But, McLaughlin, who has a conviction for indecently assaulting an under-age boy dating back to 1985, claimed the boys had put their heads together to concoct a false story.

He argued that he had wrongly been denied the chance to put forward evidence which he claimed backed his defence that the boys had lied.

The evidence was a report on one of the boys, referred to as “A” and alleged by McLaughlin to be the leader in making up the allegations, which stated that he was prone to lying.

He also pointed to fresh evidence that the same boy had asked about the possibility of compensation when on a visit to the crown court before the trial.

But refusing the bid to appeal, Mr Justice Keith and Mr Justice Spencer said McLaughlin stood no realistic chance of overturning his convictions.

Mr Justice Keith said: “The claim that the boys had colluded with each other was seriously undermined by the fact that one of them had complained to members of his family before A had even been involved with McLaughlin.”

The appeal bid was refused and the convictions upheld.

October 2012

Pervert who groomed boys is jailed for three years

A PAEDOPHILE who groomed young boys by buying them cigarettes has been jailed for three years.

Bolton Crown Court heard James McLaughlin had shown no remorse after being found guilty of sexual offences against four boys and even told probation staff that, on his release from prison, he would “seek out and deal with” those who had made allegations against him.

Michael Maher, defending, said McLaughlin’s comments were idle threats made by an aggrieved man who, since his conviction last month, has been ostracised by his family and feels his life is over.

He added McLaughlin had opportunity to carry out his threats while on bail awaiting sentence but had not done so.

McLaughlin, aged 50 of Beverley Road, Heaton, had denied sexual activity with a 13-year-old and a 14-year-old boy, sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy and attempted sexual activity with a 15-year-old boy.

During a seven-day trial, a jury heard that when living at a house in Deane, between September, 2009, and May, 2011, schoolboys would visit McLaughlin, who was known as Rob, and he would offer to buy cigarettes.

His crimes only came to light when a 14-year-old boy told his family he had been abused.

The court heard that in 1988 McLaughlin had been convicted of sexually assaulting a boy.

At yesterday’s sentencing hearing, Mr Maher said McLaughlin suffers from depression and high blood pressure and was concerned his prison sentence would be short enough to enable him to say goodbye to his mother, who suffers from dementia.

Recorder Timothy Stead also made an indefinite Sexual Offences Prevention Order against McLaughlin, banning him from having any boy under 16 in his home, having no contact with boys except in the presence of a responsible adult or during a legal commercial transaction and prohibiting him from contacting his victims.

He is also banned from working with children and is placed on the sex offenders register.

August 2012

Barrister calls boy ‘an infection’

A BARRISTER has called an alleged victim of child abuse a “walking infection”.

Michael Maher, defending convicted pervert James McLaughlin, of Beverley Road, Heaton , said the 13-year-old boy, who is one of four boys to make complaints of being abused, had heard rumours the defendant was a sex offender.

Bolton Crown Court heard McLaughlin had been fined £80 for indecently assaulting a boy in 1985.

McLaughlin denies two counts of sexual activity with a child, one charge of attempted sexual activity with a child and a fourth count of sexual assaulting a child.

The offences are alleged to have happened between September, 2009, and May, 2011.

The case continues.