Heaton paedophile fails to clear his name
A PAEDOPHILE jailed for abusing four boys has failed to clear his name.
James McLaughlin, known as Rob, aged 52, was jailed for three years in October, 2012.
He was convicted by a jury of two counts of sexual activity with a child, one count of attempted sexual activity and one count of sexual assault.
McLaughlin, of Beverley Road, Heaton, took the case to the Court of Appeal where he claimed he had been set up by the boys.
The court heard the four youngsters came forward to complain of sexual abuse at McLaughlin’s home on various occasions between 2009 and 2011.
But, McLaughlin, who has a conviction for indecently assaulting an under-age boy dating back to 1985, claimed the boys had put their heads together to concoct a false story.
He argued that he had wrongly been denied the chance to put forward evidence which he claimed backed his defence that the boys had lied.
The evidence was a report on one of the boys, referred to as “A” and alleged by McLaughlin to be the leader in making up the allegations, which stated that he was prone to lying.
He also pointed to fresh evidence that the same boy had asked about the possibility of compensation when on a visit to the crown court before the trial.
But refusing the bid to appeal, Mr Justice Keith and Mr Justice Spencer said McLaughlin stood no realistic chance of overturning his convictions.
Mr Justice Keith said: “The claim that the boys had colluded with each other was seriously undermined by the fact that one of them had complained to members of his family before A had even been involved with McLaughlin.”
The appeal bid was refused and the convictions upheld.