Paedophile who raped seven-year-old boy at water park in Southport jailed for 21 years

Oliver Roughley was jailed for 21 years. Credit: Liverpool Echo

A paedophile who sexually abused a boy when he was just seven-years-old and raped him at a water park, has been jailed 21 years.

Oliver Roughley subjected his victim to a "campaign of rape" over the course of three years, leading to the youngster attempting to take his own life.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that the now 24-year-old carried out the abuse over a three-year period when he was in his late teens.

Roughley, from St Helens, groomed the boy by buying him presents including toy cars and teddy bears.He also used violence to ensure his silence, including by twisting his arm behind his back.

He kept a pair of the child's underwear in his bedroom and messaged him telling him that he loved him.Roughley first assaulted the boy when he was aged seven.

He then told him "not to tell anyone or he would go to jail and never see him again".

Oliver Roughly was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court Credit: Liverpool Echo

His abuse escalated to raping the youngster in the cubicles of a swimming baths in South Liverpool and Splash World in Southport.

Police later discovered 32 pictures of the boy naked in the defendant's bedroom - some of which also showed the sex offender - on his phone.Additional indecent images of other children were found on his computer. But Roughley still denies having committed the vile offences.A statement read out on behalf of the boy's mother highlighted the "massive impact" Roughley's crime have had. She said her son had "become a sad and angry boy" who had tried to take his own life "on more than one occasion".The youngster also cannot be hugged by family members as he "doesn't want to be touched". The statement added: "It has ruined him mentally and turned his life upside down."I don't know if he will ever recover. My son has been given a life sentence."

David Watson, defending, told the court: "What can be advanced on his behalf is very limited. The defendant has no previous convictions to factor in, nor any behaviour outside of these offences."

Roughley was found unanimously guilty by a jury of four counts of rape, six of sexual assault, one of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, three of producing indecent images, three of making indecent images and one of possession of indecent images after a trial in June.

At points during his sentencing, Roughly shook his head, closed his eyes and cried.Sentencing, Judge David Swinnerton said: "You have not only damaged him badly, but his whole family. You have shown no remorse and continue to deny any wrongdoing whatsoever."You deny any sexual interest in children. That is plainly a lie."For a period of three years you manipulated him with gifts or threats and sexually abused him throughout. This was predatory, planned persistent sexual abuse of a young child."You acted as a predatory paedophile when the opportunity was presented to you. There is a clear and significant risk of you committing further offences which would inevitably cause serious harm, as has happened here."I regard this as a campaign of rape. There was significant planning and extensive grooming behaviour."Roughley was handed an extended licence period of five years and a sexual harm prevention order and notification requirement to run indefinitely. He will serve at least two thirds of his sentence before being eligible for release.Judge Swinnerton also imposed a lifelong restraining order banning him from contacting the boy or his parents and ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the seized electronic devices.

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