Manchester

Rochdale ex-social worker jailed for abusing boy

James Gavin Image copyright Greater Manchester Police
Image caption James Gavin had access to the boy in his role as a social worker

A former social worker described as a "twisted predator" has been jailed for sexually abusing a boy in care.

James Gavin, 82, was found guilty of four counts of indecent assault and one of attempted serious sexual assault against a boy in the 1970s.

The offences took place while the victim was at foster homes and Foxholes Children's Home, Rochdale, Greater Manchester.

Gavin, of Underwood, Rochdale, was jailed for 17 years.

Gavin had access to the victim through his role as a social worker and sexually abused him on a number occasions, Manchester's Minshull Street Crown Court heard.

Greater Manchester Police said he would often drive the victim to a location where he would sexually assault him.

'Emotional damage'

Gavin threatened the boy, who did not initially tell his carers for fear of getting into trouble, or feeling no one would believe him, the force continued.

However, he reported the abuse to police in 2015.

Speaking after the sentencing, PC Karen Bancroft said: "Gavin preyed on a vulnerable boy who should have been cared for and supported during an unsettling time in his life.

"Instead, for his own sick sexual gratification, he sexually abused him knowing the distress it would cause.

"Not once did he care about the emotional damage he was inflicting on an innocent child, who has had to carry this pain with him his entire life."

Ms Bancroft added: "Gavin is a twisted, manipulative predator and thanks to the courage of the victim, his patience and his strength, he is now where he belongs."

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