Child rapist left victim 'living life of fear'

Raymond Hawthorne
Raymond Hawthorne left his victim "living a life of fear" [Merseyside Police]

A victim of a paedophile told a court their abuser had "deprived them of their childhood and ultimately the person they should have become".

Raymond Hawthorne, 60, was jailed for 27 years, with an extended eight-year licence, at Liverpool Crown Court.

A jury had earlier found him guilty of 14 child sex offences, including two counts of rape, 10 of indecent assault and two of indecency with a child.

The abuse took place in Wirral in the 1980s and 1990s.

'The fear of Ray'

The court heard Hawthorne won the trust of the young boys by buying them gifts before sexually assaulting them.

During the sentencing hearing, one of his victims said in a statement: "For as long as I can remember I have lived a life of fear.

"The fear of Ray, of being in trouble if anyone knew what was going on.

"I had feelings of embarrassment, guilt, remorse. I was so young, and I questioned if any of it was my fault or not."

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said he believed the trauma of his childhood contributed to the breakdown of a 10-year relationship.

He said: "She did everything to help me, she loved me a lot, and because I couldn’t function as a normal person, I let her and my daughter down.

"The relationship broke down because I couldn’t show empathy and I didn’t have the ability to relate my feelings which I put down to the trauma of my childhood.

"I deeply regret what I put them through and wish I had dealt with things differently."

Hawthorne must serve at least two thirds of his custodial sentence behind bars before being assessed by a Parole Board.

Det Con Lauren Blackmore, from Merseyside Police's Rape and Serious Sexual Offences team, described Hawthorne as "utterly depraved".

"As you can imagine for victims of such an appalling crime, the impact on them is significant and long-lasting", she said.

"I hope this sentence provides some comfort in knowing they did the right thing by reporting his heinous crime to us.”

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