As we reach the end of the year, we bring you the most talked-about ten stories of 2014. The second in this series is also one of the most disturbing stories of the year.
A PREDATORY paedophile who abused young boys at one of Britain’s biggest fishing clubs was jailed for 11 years, in one of the most shocking and disturbing stories of 2014.
Pervert Paul Stead abused his position of trust of junior angling coach at Leeds and District Amalgamated Society of Anglers to interfere with seven victims over an eight-year period dating back to the 1990s.
Stead only resigned as junior coach of Leeds DASA last year when charges were brought and last week he was found guilty of 23 sex offences by Leeds Crown Court.
A jury heard Stead also did all he could to “denigrate” the character of some of his victims when they reported the conduct to the club’s chairman and committee.
Stead, of Stanks Lane South, Whinmoor, also threatened to take an injunction out against one of his victims back in 2002.
The victim went to Stead’s fishing tackle shop to confront him warning him to quit his position at the club. Stead continued to work with young anglers until more victims came forward in 2011 and 2012.
He coached the youngsters and entered teams from Leeds DASA in the Angling Trust Junior Nationals.
Founded in 1890, Leeds DASA boasts over 2,500 members, and over 200 affiliated clubs, with over 30 river venues, 12 lakes, six lengths of canal totalling 20 miles, and a lively social club.
Stead was in the current 2014 Leeds DASA handbook as an honorary life member, and (at the time of this case eareliuer in 2014) he was still down as a trustee of the independent social club that the fishing club uses.
The jury took too just over six hours to find him guilty of 17 offences of indecent assault and seven of indecency with a child.
Stead would abuse the youngsters while they were out fishing and further abuse also took place at his then home in Cross Gates, where he would give the youngsters alcohol and play pornographic films.
Jailing Stead, judge Tom Bayliss, QC, said: ‘You abused your position, corrupted these children. You abused these children. What you did to them will live with them for the rest of their lives.’
After the case, Det Insp Lawrence Bone, of the Leeds District Child Safeguarding Unit, said: ‘Stead abused his position of trust to systematically exploit vulnerable young people over a long period of time for his own sexual gratification.
‘We hope the fact he has now been brought to justice will go some way towards helping his victims and their families to deal with the trauma he has caused them. I would like to pay tribute to the victims for the courage they have shown in standing up to make sure Stead has now faced the consequences of his actions and in playing their part in protecting further children from this predatory paedophile.
‘Any allegations of this nature are always thoroughly investigated by specialist officers who ensure victims are fully supported throughout the process. The passage of time is no barrier to a successful prosecution.’
Since this story was first published, the Angling Trust has boldly acted to try and prevent such incidents happening again – see the current double issue of Angler’s Mail, on sale now.
Angler’s Mail magazine is also in digital stores for iPad and Android tablets.