A self-professed spiritual healer said he was “laying on hands” when he was caught molesting a schoolboy.
Pensioner Paul Brook, 69, has now been jailed for 45 months after a court heard he used his position to abuse the youngster on 30 separate occasions.
Preston Crown Court heard the grandfather-of-two exploited his role as a healer to touch the boy, who was still in primary school.
Brook, of Meldon Road, Heysham, has now been ordered to sign on the sex offenders’ register for life and been made the subject of a life long sexual offences prevention order.
The offences came to light when the boy’s mother walked into a room and saw Brook touching her son’s groin.
Shocked at what she had witnessed, she spoke to Brook’s wife, who denied her husband’s wrongdoing.
The woman later reported the matter to the police and Brook was arrested but made no comment in interview.
He pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual activity with a child.
Recorder Nicholas Clarke QC, sentencing, said: “Under the pretext of laying hands on this young boy as some sort of pseudo healer you exploited your position firstly to touch him over his clothes and then to touch his genitals.
“He is a wholly innocent young boy who could not understand the abuse you perpetrated against him.
“I am told that you worked right up to the age of 52 years old and retired 17 years ago. You have been married for 48 years in what is an entirely stable relationship but this has been affected buy the amount of alcohol you had consumed in the past.
“At the moment, it is difficult to assess the impact of this abuse on the boy himself.
“The realisation in maturity of what you did to him will inevitably have a long-term impact on him.”