Wirral child rapist left victim ‘living a life of fear’

image source, Merseyside Police

image caption, Raymond Hawthorne left his victim ‘living a life of fear’

  • Author, By Jonny Humphries
  • Role, BBC News, Liverpool

A victim of a pedophile told a court that their abuser “deprived them of their childhood and ultimately the person they should have become”.

Raymond Hawthorne, 60, was jailed for 27 years with an extended license of eight years at Liverpool Crown Court.

A jury earlier found him guilty of 14 child sex offences, including two counts of rape, 10 counts of indecent assault and two counts of indecency with a child.

The abuse took place in Wirral in the 1980s and 1990s.

“Fear of Ray”

The court heard Hawthorne gained the boys’ trust by buying them gifts before sexually assaulting them.

During the sentencing hearing, one of his victims said in a statement: “For as long as I can remember, I have lived a life of fear.

“Afraid of Ray, of getting in trouble if anyone knew what was going on.

“I had feelings of embarrassment, guilt, remorse. I was so young and I wondered if anything was my fault or not.”

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said he believes his childhood trauma contributed to the breakdown of a 10-year relationship.

He said: “She did everything to help me, she loved me very much and because I couldn’t function as a normal person I let her and my daughter down.

“The relationship broke down because I couldn’t empathize and I didn’t have the ability to relate to my feelings that I attributed to my childhood trauma.

“I deeply regret what I put them through and wish I had handled things differently.”

Hawthorne must serve at least two-thirds of his prison sentence behind bars before being evaluated by a parole board.

Det Con Lauren Blackmore, from Merseyside Police’s rape and serious sex crime squad, described Hawthorne as “completely depraved”.

“As you can imagine for the victims of such a horrific crime, the impact on them is significant and long-lasting,” she said.

“I hope this sentence gives us some comfort in knowing they did the right thing by reporting his heinous crime to us.”

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