A man who raped a primary school pupil at Preston Docks 20 years ago has been caged for eight years.
Kieran O’Rourke, 34, was found guilty of two counts of rape and two of gross indecency against his victim, who was aged just eight at the time of the abuse.
Prosecuting, Guy Mathieson described how O’Rourke, who was then at high school, and the youngster would sometimes meet friends at a “hangout” close to the locking gates at Preston Docks.
On one occasion when the pair were alone, he forced the little boy into the bushes and raped him.
The court was told O’Rourke, who is now dad to a seven-year-old child and three year old twins, had access to the young victim’s home at the time and took the opportunity to abuse him there.
In a harrowing statement the victim, who is now an adult, said: “ I find myself in a position of bringing my devastating past back to life. It has ruined my life in ways I would have never thought possible.”
He said he had turned to drug and alcohol abuse, had suicidal thoughts and had suffered relationship breakdowns and job problems due to the impact of the abuse.
Defending, Stuart Mills asked the judge to take into account the defendant’s personal circumstances at the time said: “He had a difficult upbringing and was in and out of care from birth. He has all of the features that one might expect to bring someone into conflict with the law and suffered physical abuse.
“He witnessed considerable domestic violence. His mother was regrettably a drug abuser and an alcoholic – all of these must have had a grave impact upon his psychological wellbeing.
"In addition his father was an alcohol abuser and his mother committed suicide in 2000.”
Judge Stuart Baker said he had to consider he was a youth due to his own age at the time of the offences.
He added: “Much has happened in your life in the last 20 years. You are not now the same person you were when you committed these offences.
“You were a damaged child yourself. Nevertheless at the age of 15 you were old enough to know that what you did was seriously wrong.”
He is banned from working with vulnerable people and will be placed on the sex offender’s register.