Welwyn Garden City paedophile jailed for nearly 15 years

PUBLISHED: 14:34 21 June 2018 | UPDATED: 14:55 21 June 2018

Thomas Ryan has been jailed for child sex offences. 
Picture: Herts Police

Thomas Ryan has been jailed for child sex offences. Picture: Herts Police

Archant

A man who “stole the innocence and childhood” of two young girls he sexually abused has been jailed for nearly 15 years.

Thomas Ryan committed the offences on the youngsters first when he was living in Welwyn Garden City and then in Stevenage.

Twenty years separated the offending, but the terrible impact on his victim’s was the same.

At St Albans Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday, June 20) Judge Jonathan Carroll told 71-year-old Ryan: “This case deals with the tragic destruction of two young lives.”

The judge told him: “You stole their innocence and childhood.”

Ryan, who has been living in Ireland, appeared in custody at the court to admit indecency with a child, two offences of cruelty to a child under 16, two offences of indecent assault and assault on a child by penetration.

Will Noble prosecuting told how in the mid 1980s while Ryan had been living in Welwyn Garden City he began sexually abusing a young teenage girl.

The court was told it began with Ryan giving her alcohol and then getting her to intimately touch him which she hated doing.

Mr Noble said the offending continued up until the girl was 16.

The youngster kept quiet about what had happened to her for years but in 2006 went to the police, although at the time still didn’t feel able to take the next steps which would have seen Ryan charged.

The court heard it was around this time that Ryan had started abusing a second young girl.

By now he was living in Stevenage.

Mr Noble said it involved touching her.

On occasions he would tell the girl she was not to tell anyone what was happening saying: “It’s our little secret.”

Like the first girl, she too kept quiet about the abuse she was suffering at the hands of the defendant.

It took place over a four year period between 2002 and 2006 from when she was under 10.

But in September of last year the girl, who is now a young woman, went to the police and told them what had happened.

As a result police contacted the first girl who in 2006 had contacted them

On hearing about the second victim coming forward she was re-interviewed and provided at statement which meant Ryan was charged with offences concerning her as well.

The court was told both victims had been deeply affected by the abuse they suffered.

They had suffered from depression and anxiety and one had even turned to drink and drugs.

Andel Singh defending Ryan of Ardnageehy Beg, Bantry, West Cork told the court: “He accepts what he did was horrific, horrendous.

“He accepts there is absolutely no excuse for what he has done.”

Judge Carroll jailed Ryan for a total of 14 years and eight months and made him the subject of a sexual harm prevention order.

His name will also be added to the sex offenders register.

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