On 18 June, two Conservative politicians were convicted of child sexual abuse. The jury at Swansea Crown Court found former mayor for Pembroke David Boswell guilty of raping a girl under the age of 10. On the same day, former mayor of Godalming Simon Thornton pleaded guilty to more than 20 child sex offenses.
These convictions come in the same week that Conservative leader Theresa May refused to cancel US president Donald Trump’s upcoming state visit over the caging of young children.
‘Do you know who I am?’
At the time of his arrest in October 2017, Thornton told police officers:
You know I am the Mayor of Godalming?
The judge sentenced Thornton to nine years in jail for the offences against a 13-year-old girl. During the weekly abuse over a three-year period, the former Surrey mayor forced the young girl to sleep in bed with himself and his wife.
Investigating officer police constable Tamzin Ede said:
Simon Thornton’s crimes have impacted the victim through her childhood and into adult life, the offending against her have caused low confidence, depression and difficulties in building new trusted relationships. The victim in this case has shown real courage in reporting and supporting the police investigation
In a separate case, judge Keith Thomas told former mayor Boswell that a lengthy prison sentence was inevitable. Boswell was convicted of raping a girl aged under 10 years old in the 1990s. The jury also found him guilty of a further three counts of indecent assault, including one against a different girl also aged under 10.
The missing child abuse documents
Paedophilia within the Conservative Party has previously gone right to the top. The police chief investigating former Conservative prime minister Edward Heath says claims he was a paedophile are “120 percent genuine”. In 2014, when Theresa May was home secretary, a report found that the Home Office had “lost or destroyed” over 100 files “in the last few years” which documented allegations of Westminster child abuse in the 80s and 90s.
This week, juries have found two former Conservative mayors guilty of child sex abuse. But it seems that some sections of the mainstream press do not consider even the worst abuses of power newsworthy. We must remedy that.
– Any young person in need of help or advice can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or childline.org.uk.
– Adults concerned about a child’s safety can contact the NSPCC Helpline 0808 800 5000 or nspcc.org.uk.
Featured image via Annika Haas/ WikiCommons
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