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Blackpool child abuser left boy with HIV fears

A child abuser left a boy fearing he could be HIV positive, a court has been told.

Dale Walsh, 49, of Queen’s Promenade, Blackpool, has been brought to justice more than 30 years after he attacked the boy, who was nine when the sickening offences began.

Preston Crown Court

Preston Crown Court

Julian Goode, prosecuting at Preston Crown Court, said: “At that time the defendant was 14 years of age.

“The offences started with the defendant inviting the complainant to his bedroom.

“The offending then progressed.

“The complainant had started to consider the sexual acts to be wrong.”

The court heard after the most serious attack the youngster refused to go into Walsh’s room anymore.

He bravely confided in two friends at university years later.

Following his subsequent complaint to police, Walsh attended voluntarily for an interview but made no comment.

In a victim impact statement the victim said the abuse had a “massive effect” on him, “knocking him down when least expected it.”

He described having feared being HIV positive while studying at school and had spent years trying to convince himself the abuse did not happen, before attending counselling.

He added: “I had trusted him to be my friend and he betrayed that friendship and used me.

“He used our friendship for his own sexual gratification. The speed of which the abuse would start once I was alone with him and the way he would also discard me afterwards still haunts me.

“I was a child, and looking back at my childhood now as an adult it is clear he has scarred me for life.”

Walsh, who has previous, more recent sexual offences on his record, pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent assault, one of indecency with a child and an offence which under today’s law would be regarded as rape. Judge Sara Dodd adjourned his sentencing until June 13.