THE victim of a serial sex offender has told the Mercury he feels justice has been done after the man who abused him for years was put behind bars.
Kevin Michael Johns, of Penlea Avenue, Bridgwater, was sentenced to six years in prison by a judge at Taunton Crown Court on Friday, (June 6).
He pleaded guilty to ten counts of gross indecency with a child, 11 counts of indecent assault on a boy under 14 and two counts of inciting a child to commit an act of gross indecency.
Of the 23 counts, 14 were in relation to offences committed in the 1980s against one boy and nine offences committed in the 1980s and 90s involving a second boy.
The boys cannot be named for legal reasons, but one of the victims told the Mercury after sentencing: “I hope this conviction will give other people who have had a similar experience the courage to come forward.
“We were hoping he would get longer, but we do feel justice has been done.”
A family member added: “We feel relief. I love my boys so much and they are happy with what he got. It’s really good news. We couldn’t have asked for any better.”
The offences happened in Bridgwater and during the time of the offences, one boy was aged five when the abuse began and other was aged six when it started.
Once Johns, now 48, was alone with them he would touch them sexually.
The court heard how Johns told one of the boys the acts were a “treat” and not to tell anyone.
One of the victims said on one occasion Johns had touched him while others were present, disguising the action under a tray with toys on top.
The abuse only ceased when one boy stopped contact with him while the other boy kicked Johns while he was trying to touch him.
The victims said they had been living with “shame and embarrassment” as a result of what Johns did to them. One victim said he still has night terrors and will occasionally call out ‘don’t touch me’ in his sleep.
The other has suffered with depression and flashbacks.
Johns was found out last year when the victims spoke out about their ordeals. He was then reported to the police and he was arrested on August 12, 2013.
When questioned by police about some of the offences, Johns said he “couldn’t remember”.
Defending, Rebecca Bradbury said Johns did not want to put the victims through the ordeal of a trial and pleaded guilty.
She added: “He wants future help. His life has slowly been falling apart. He is extremely sorry for what has happened.”
Sentencing Johns, judge David Ticehurst heard he had previously been convicted for indecent assault on a boy under 14 years in 1984.
Judge Ticehurst said: “It is difficult to imagine the effect these offences have had upon them. You blighted their childhood.”
Johns received a total of six years in prison, will be placed on the Sex Offenders Register for the rest of his life and be the subject of a Sex Offenders’ Prevention Order (the terms of which will be settled out of court within 14 days).