A CONVICTED murderer has been jailed for 10 years for child rape in the Wrexham area.
The jury at Mold Crown Court were not told about Robert John Kirkham’s murder conviction during proceedings because it was considered prejudicial.
But following his conviction for rape and other sexual offences against the boy dating back to 1996 – when he was first released on licence from his murder
life-sentence – the jury heard about his past.
Kirkham, 64, of Llys Colwyn, Old Colwyn, was convicted of murdering an old lady following trial at Chester Crown Court back in 1982.
He was said to have suffocated her while stealing from her home.
David Williams, defending, told the court his client had served 27 years in prison. He was released on licence in 1996 when the sexual offences occurred.
Kirkham was convicted of sexual offences against another boy in 1999 and received a 12 month sentence – but had been recalled on the murder sentence licence and served a further 12 years.
He had been recalled again after his arrest for the current case last year and Mr Williams said – bearing in mind his age – “he is not going to be released until he is well in his 70s”.
Judge Niclas Parry jailed Kirkham for 10 years and ordered he register as a sex offender for life.
He denied rape and four charges of indecent assault on a male in 1996 – but was convicted by the jury.
The boy was in his early teens and vulnerable because of his age, the judge said.
There had been a significant degree of planning and he took advantage of knowing where young boys be unsupervised while fishing.
He created opportunities to be alone with the boy when the rape occurred.
Kirkham increased his demands upon him and used him for his own sexual gratification.
“You quite clearly have an unhealthy interest in young boys,” the judge told him.
Kirkham was on supervised licence following his murder conviction and the judge said he would therefore not make a SOPO, a sexual offences prevention order.
The offences against the boy occurred at about the same time as those against another boy, for which he was convicted in 1999.
Kirkham received a nine year sentence for the rape – and 12 months for the indecent assaults — making 10 years in all.
Simon Mills, prosecuting, told the jury the offences occurred in 1996 when the victim went fishing.
Offences also took place in a shed.
Kirkham denied the offences took place and claimed he had never been alone with the boy.
l AFTER the sentencing, DI Kelly Isaacs, of North Wales Police’s Amethyst Team which is dedicated to tackling sexual offences, said: “Kirkham was a predator who abused the vulnerability and trust of a young boy.
“It’s important the public know that North Wales Police and its partner agencies offer specialist support to victims of sexual offences.
“Victims of crime will receive the full support of North Wales Police and its partner agencies regardless of the passage of time between offence and reporting. It is never too late to seek justice.”
The amethyst team provides specialist services to support victims and encourages anyone who has been the victim of a sexual offence to come forward.
If a victim does not feel ready to report to the police then services can be accessed through the confidential Amethyst SARC Helpline on 08081 563658.
See full story in the Leader