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Man jailed for 14 years for sexual abuse of a young boy more than 20 years ago

29 Oct 2020

A man in his 30s, who was repeatedly sexually abused as a young child, has now seen his abuser jailed for 14 years, and has spoken of how he was warned to hide the abuse from his parents for fear of hurting them.

Mark Solomon, now 59, of Ingleway, Thornton-Cleveleys, Lancashire, was living in Luton when he sexually abused and indecently assaulted the boy from the time he was 6 years old, until he was 10, using swimming trips and days out as an opportunity for access to the child. He bribed the child with money for sweets and Pokémon cards, telling him “that’s so you don’t tell anybody”.

The abuse only stopped when Solomon moved away from the county.

The abuse was reported to police in 2017, and an investigation was launched. Solomon was arrested in February 2018, but denied the allegations.

He was found guilty of seven counts of indecent assault on a boy under the age of 16 years, which occurred between 1994 and 1999, and was sentenced to 14 years in prison at Luton Crown Court on Friday (23 October).

Solomon was also placed on the sex offenders register for life.

In an impact statement read out during the hearing, the court heard how his victim, who had buried the abuse for so many years, was compelled to disclose what he had endured to family members, when memories were triggered and his mental health began to suffer.

He said: “At the time, he told me I must not tell my mum and dad because they would be hurt, and I believed him.”

Detective Constable Amy Hawkes, from our forces Public Protection Unit, who investigated the case, said: “The sexual abuse of children is a heinous crime.

“Solomon subjected the boy to repeated incidents of sexual abuse over a prolonged period of several years, warning him not to tell anyone, and his young victim trusted him.

“I want to thank the victim for finding the courage to come forward, and for remaining on board with us throughout this extensive investigation. I'd also like to extend my thanks to his wife for her support. I hope that seeing Solomon incarcerated for such a long term will bring about some closure.

“It is never too late to report sexual offences, no matter when they happened, and this case demonstrates the lengths we will go to in order to see an offender brought to justice.”

Detective Inspector Michelle Lack said: “We know that it can take a long time, perhaps years, or in this case, decades, before a victim is ready to speak about their experiences.

“I would ask that if you have concerns about child sexual abuse, or you have ever been a victim, please report it, don’t carry this by yourself.

“We have specially trained officers, and a network of partner agencies, ready to listen and who will support and guide you.”

Parents and carers can visit the Parents Protect website which is run by the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, for resources to help identify and prevent child sexual abuse.

The NSPCC website has a wealth of information on how to talk to your child about staying safe from sexual abuse, including the PANTS underwear rule:

P – Privates are private
A – Always remember your body belongs to you
N – No means no
T – Talk about secrets that upset you
S – Speak up, someone can help

You can find more information and resources on the Bedfordshire Police website.

To report child sex abuse, call 101. In an emergency, always call 999.

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