A predator is facing years behind bars after a jury found him guilty of a staggering 43 sexual offences against young boys.
Paul Boardman, 55, formerly of Bray Street, Ashton, Preston, was found unanimously guilty following a 13 day trial at Manchester Crown Court.
The offences included rape, attempted rape, indecency with a child, indecent assault and sexual activity with a child which stretched over . The victims were all aged between 10 and 16 at the time.
Boardman pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice. Another man Ryan Shenton, 24, of Hoghton Lane, Hoghton was convicted of the same offence following the trial.
Two others, Marie Blythe, 31 and Natasha Hart, 21, both of Tennyson Mill Court,Preston admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice at an earlier hearing.
This related to attempts to influence the case. Boardman will return to court today, where he is expected to receive a lengthy jail term.
The others will be sentenced in January.
All but one of the sexual offences took place between 1990 and 2001 when Boardman lived in the Tanterton area of Preston. The other, and most recent sexual offence, was committed in March of this year at an address in Ashton, Preston.
Detective Chief Inspector Sue Cawley, of Lancashire Police, said: “Boardman is a dangerous and prolific offender who has repeatedly targeted young boys and subjected them to horrendous abuse, showing no regard for their age or vulnerabilities.
“His crimes have left his victims scarred for life in terms of both the emotional and psychological effects he has caused and I would like to pay tribute to them for their bravery in coming forward and in giving evidence to this trial.”
During the trial the harrowing jury heard Boardman, now of no fixed abode, would take his victims on day trips to Blackpool or Alton Towers and would sexually abuse them.
One victim, now in his 30s, told how he was indecently assaulted on 50 or 60 occasions with the abuse escalating. At some times the boy would be abused up to twice a day.
But he told the court Boardman would coax him to the flat, offering him cigarettes and money and allowing him to play on his arcade machines and CB radio.
He said; “When you are a certain age and someone’s offering things you don’t say no.
“He’s not an angry person. He’s manipulative. He was grooming us, giving us fags and money.
“I didn’t know what grooming was but that is what he was doing...
“Whoever is up will tell you the same thing. The guy’s manipulative. He offers you all the best things, coaxes you with the best things. He pretends to be your friend.”
He said the abuse started “Petering out” when he was around 14 years old, because: “I think he knew that I was starting to realise it was wrong and it shouldn’t be happening.”
The man said he kept the abuse to himself as he was too ashamed and embarrassed to tell.
Robert Smith, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West said: “Paul Boardman has been found guilty of a number of very serious sexual offences against young boys over many years. In many of these cases, he groomed his victims before committing the offences.
“Throughout the prosecution, our primary concern has been to support and care for all the victims in this case. Today’s result is testament to the tremendous courage and bravery that they have shown in coming forward and supporting the prosecution case.
“We would urge anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse to come forward and report it to the authorities so that offenders can be brought to justice.”
After the case Ch Ins Cawley said: “We take all allegations of sexual abuse extremely seriously and we would encourage people with any information about sexual abuse or who has been a victim of sexual abuse to come forward and report their concerns confident in the knowledge it will be investigated appropriately and with sensitivity.”