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Merfyn Jones has been convicted of 13 counts of rape and been placed on the sex offenders’ register for life

Defendant Merfyn Jones, of Shotton, was jailed for 17 years for a series of historic sex offences against children

Defendant Merfyn Jones, of Shotton, was jailed for 17 years for a series of historic sex offences against children

The perverted past of a man — branded a sexual predator — caught up with him when he was jailed for 17 years for a campaign of sexual offences.

Merfyn Jones, 53, of Rowden Street in Shotton, was placed on the sex offender’s register for life.

Jones had denied 13 offences of attempted rape, attempted rape and indecent assault against four complainants, when they were children, dating back to the 1990s.

But he was unanimously convicted by a jury at Mold Crown Court in December.

Judge Rhys Rowlands said that Jones continued to deny the offences and had shown no remorse at all.

“You have no comprehension of the way in which you were meant to behave as a grown man towards young children, or the harm you have caused the victims,” the judge told him.

Jones, from Fllintshire, was a man of no convictions and had to be sentenced for his behaviour 20 years ago when he was in his 30s, he said.

Although there had been a significant delay, the other side of that was that he had managed to live a normal life for many years while the victims had to live with what he had done to them.

“You took advantage of four young girls and you did so repeatedly,” Judge Rowlands told him.

Two of the victims had been raped.

“Totally understandably, your behaviour had an appalling and profound effect,” the judge said.

“They continue to suffer to this day while you could not care less about the harm you have caused.

The only mitigation was that the offending ended in the 1990s and he had not been in any trouble since.

Judge Rowlands said that the victims were women now in their 20s and 30s but that Jones had taken away their childhoods — and thought he had got away with it.

“Now, I am afraid, you have to answer for your depraved behaviour as a younger man,” he said.

At the earlier hearing the judge said that on the verdicts of the jury, he fell to be sentenced as a sexual predator who had got away with for many years.

Jones was convicted of six charges of rape, one charge of attempted rape and six charges of indecent assault.

Prosecuting barrister John Philpotts said that victim impact statements showed the offences had not been reported at the time because the victims, as children, did not think they would be believed.

Some of them spoke of being unable to sleep, having nightmares, and still feeling the pain of what he had done.

One said that she felt angry and emotional and found it difficult to trust people.

Another told how her confidence and self-esteem had been affected and she suffered panic attacks.

Mr Philpotts described it as a sustained campaign of sexual offences with multiple victims which had caused severe psychological harm.

Paul Smith, defending, argued that the description of a campaign was not appropriate.

He said Jones appreciated that he was to receive a very significant sentence but he asked to judge to keep totality in mind.


The Daily Post

A MEMBER of a far-right group nailed a copy of the Koran to a proposed Muslim education centre.

Graham French, 28, also sprayed EDL, which stands for English Defence League, on the former Melrose Arms in Shotton Colliery, in December.

It was after planning permission for a change of use, which has caused controversy, was granted.

French, of Dene Crescent, Shotton Colliery, admitted racial or religious aggravated criminal damage to the wall of a multi-faith centre.

He was given a community order with six months supervision at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court plus a one-month tagged curfew between 10.30pm and 7am.

Sunderland Echo

Melrose Arms, Office Row, Front Street, Shotton Colliery. There are proposals for it to become as Muslim education centre.

Melrose Arms, Office Row, Front Street, Shotton Colliery. There are proposals for it to become as Muslim education centre.

A MEMBER of a far-right group nailed a copy of the Koran onto a pub which is due to be transformed into a Muslim education centre.

Graham French also wrote “EDL” on the wall of former Melrose Arms in Shotton Colliery – which has been the centre of demonstrations by the English Defence League in the village, after planning permission to change the use of the building was granted.

Since buying the property, local businessman Kaiser Javeed Choudry has been a repeat victim of crime, Peterlee Magistrates’ Court heard.

Prosecutor Vicky Wilson said there had been great opposition to the plans and Mr Choudry’s property had been targeted with spray paint and windows had been smashed.

Ms Wilson said on December 14, EDL had been daubed twice in white paint on the building, causing £500 of damage, and an open Koran had been nailed onto a wooden board covering a window.

She added: “Police took the Koran for forensic analysis and found several links to the defendant, including a palm print on the page.”

She told the court that information on Facebook showed French, of Dene Crescent, Shotton, is a member of a group called the Shotton Defence League.

When French was arrested, he said it was a “revenge attack” after he was followed home from the pub one day by a female wearing a Burka. A statement from Mr Choudry said: “The whole situation has got me upset.

“We are trying to improve the building and make the area better.”

French pleaded guilty to causing racially or religiously-aggravated criminal damage.

Jaxon Taylor, defending, said the damage involved “a small amount of graffiti” and disputed that it could have cost £500 to fix.

The case was adjourned until February 12 for a report to be prepared about French.

Chairman of the bench, David Carr, said: “Not only is the daubing of the words racially aggravated, but the nailing of the Koran to the wall makes it even worse.”

French was bailed on the condition that he does not contact Mr Choudry.

Sunderland Echo