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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

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Ten years in jail for Cumbrian man who sexually abused boys

A paedophile who preyed on two boys, subjecting them to years of abuse for his own sexual gratification, has been jailed for 10 years.

David Sowerby photo
David Sowerby, of Workington: Found guilty of 11 counts of indecent assault and six of indecency with a child (nine charges relating to one boy and eight to another) and was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment for each of the first nine charges, to run concurrently. He was also sentenced to three years’ jail for each of the remainder of the charges, to run concurrently with each other and consecutive to the first nine counts.

David Sowerby, 55, from Workington, was today facing a long spell behind bars after a judge said the pervert “debauched” his victims.

Sowerby, of St Mary’s Court, was also said to have shown no remorse for his “extremely grave” crimes.

Jailing him, Judge Paul Batty, QC, said: “These boys have been greatly affected now and then by what you did.”

The court previously heard how Sowerby had befriended the boys, who are now grown up.

He had given them money and, when they were older, cannabis and alcohol when they did odd jobs for him.

Carlisle Crown Court was told that Sowerby had started abusing one victim when he was only seven and the other boy when he was in his teens.

Sowerby had denied a total of 17 charges – nine relating to one boy and eight to the other.

They consisted of 11 counts of indecent assault and six of indecency with a child.

But a jury found him guilty following a trial in December.

He was brought back before the crown court to be sentenced.

Greg Hoare, speaking for the defence, said that Sowerby suffered from a heart condition and was not in the category of criminal whose “life has been wholly wicked”.

Judge Batty, passing sentence, told Sowerby the evidence during the trial had been “heart rending”.

“You have not shown one ounce of remorse for what you did to those boys,” added the judge.

Sowerby was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment for each of the first nine charges, to run concurrently.

He was also sentenced to three years’ jail for each of the remainder of the charges, to run concurrently with each other and consecutive to the first nine counts.

Sowerby was also placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.

Have your say

I knew David Sowerby at Whitehaven Grammar school, and knocked round with him for a few years after that. I distanced myself from him after it became apparent that his world-view was very much at odds with mine.

However - how would I feel if I lived in a society where a person who was once a friend could be executed? Those calling for the death penalty might want to consider this, regarding their own friends and family.

Posted by Expat Marra on 26 October 2011 at 15:19

Because he didn’t admit it he could be innocent ? - Well, yes, John, certainly he could. I’ve no idea of the justice of this case (have you ?), but Renate is right to point out that possibility.

And talking of the death penalty (since some of you like to do so) you might like to ponder this fact : Since 1973, over 120 individuals have been released from death rows in the USA after being exonerated. (Amnesty International website) - demonstrating [that] the system has indeed been convicting innocents, and suggesting it may be executing them as well. (www.answers.com/topic/capital-punishment).

Ah, but the public supports it, you might say. Let us remember that, not so very long ago, the public supported many practices we now abhor - a list of 200 capital crimes in the UK - the execution of children for theft - apartheid and segregation - slavery, torture and lynching - child- and wife-beating (for example). That we no longer support such horrors might make us hesitate over the death penalty. Figures show that it is no deterrent, that it is arbitrary, applied discriminatorily, inhumane - and totally unnecessary.

The references to capital punishment in this forum sicken me, and I reject them utterly. They are of a piece with a comment by a certain Mike on another NWEM forum - http://www.nwemail.co.uk/cm/2.1823/news/millom-mum-s-killer-sentenced-special-report-1.673304?firstComment=10&commentview=1#forum : - ... all that remains is the short and cheap journey to the gallows.

That journey, when it took place (and thank God that the ratification of the 13th Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights in 2003 forbids its return in the UK), was anything but Short and Cheap, in any currency. Count out slowly, if you please, the long-drawn-out suffering of the condemned criminal, of his or her family; of prison staff and inmates, of members of the victim’s family, yes, of us all – all tainted by an act of barbarism.

Cheap … the mind boggles at such a tawdry and facile choice of word !

This is to talk of Revenge, when we ought to be content with Retribution. Often confused with revenge, it is simply the payment of a debt to society, in the form of imprisonment, a fine, or service – and it is always proportionate (which the death penalty never can be).

Revenge is a beast of a very different colour. Dark with cycles of violence, of misdeed met with misdeed, of vendettas, of war and destruction, it has no place in any system of justice : and all civilized people and judicial codes rightly reject it.

For those bent upon revenge, violence calls down violence, and the vicious circle is never-ending – the results are to be seen everywhere. Much better, is it not, to correct and to pardon (which does not mean to forget, lest I be misunderstood) ?

Even very young children, after a playground spat or two, are able to understand as much - Two Wrongs don’t make a Right …

And what greater wrong can there be than the taking of a life, especially by the state, in cold blood, in our name ?

I will not cant by quoting Scripture : but, in The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf’s words seem to me to ring true - Many that live deserve death : and some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them ? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends …

And that Wisdom, if it comes, does so with the passage of time and the pondering of experience. It is best summed up as listening, rather than indulging atavistic prejudice and crying out, apocalyptically, for death.

Water cannot remain upon the hillside
Nor Vengeance in the noble heart.
(Chinese Proverb)

Best wishes –

Ian Honeyman

Posted by Ian Honeyman on 7 March 2010 at 21:07

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