Victim speaks out as menace jailed at last

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A man who was groomed and sexually assaulted by a former Scarborough scout master has spoken out after seeing his abuser jailed for eight years.

Elliott Cox, now 48 and living in West Hull, has waived his right to anonymity to encourage other victims of sexual abuse to come forward.

He welcomed the sentence, which was handed down at York Crown Court, saying: “I hope he never walks the streets again.”

Former teacher Richard Biddick, 76, is thought to have drugged Mr Cox on at least two occasions before sexually abusing him.

The court heard that Elliott, who was 11 years old at the time of the abuse in the late 1970s and early 80s, was rendered unconscious by a sleep-inducing drug which Biddick slipped into hot chocolate.

Prosecutor Jonathan Sharp said Elliott first met Biddick at York Railway Station where they were both train-spotting.

Biddick introduced himself and immediately began grooming the boy by offering to show him all his train pictures and impressing him with his knowledge of locomotives and his globetrotting tales.

The paedophile, who was about 40 at the time and lived in Scarborough, offered to take Elliott on a locomotive trip and the youngster jumped at the chance.

“Biddick was a teacher, a scout master, seen as a pillar of the community, and (Elliott’s) parents’ suspicions were not aroused,” said Mr Sharp. “There were trips to various areas on the rail network and a stay-over (at Biddick’s home).”

He added that Biddick - who exchanged many letters with Elliott and sent him postcards from his trips to the Far East - sexually assaulted the boy about 12 times over a six-month period starting in December 1979.

“It was the late 70s, times were different, and Elliott, with no sexual awareness, was one of those who did not breathe a word as to what he thought might have happened,” said Mr Sharp.

The attacks stopped in the summer of 1980, when Elliott’s interest in train-spotting waned and he turned his attention to fishing instead.

It was not until 35 years later that Biddick’s wicked crimes came to light.

Ironically, it came about due to Elliott and his partner, Sharon Thompson, witnessing a man sexually assaulting a boy in Hull three years ago.

Their testimony helped to convict the paedophile, but it re-awakened terrible memories for Elliott, who poured his heart out to Sharon and told her his dark secret.

The couple decided that Elliott should finally press charges against Biddick and identified him through a Google search.

Mr Sharp said Elliott was a “happy-go-lucky, carefree kid” before Biddick’s evil deeds, but after the sexual abuse he became an “angry and frustrated” child who went off the rails.

The abuse had caused severe psychological damage in adult life.

Elliott added: “I’ve not been able to hold down relationships. Something has been taken away from me - my innocence.”

As well as the attacks in Scarborough, Biddick - most recently of Baring Road in Croydon, Surrey - faced additional charges relating to a young boy in London and of storing indecent online images of children on his phone.

Judge Paul Batty QC said Biddick was a “manipulative paedophile who poses a significant risk to young boys”. Biddick will now sign on the sex-offenders’ register for life.