Jailed paedophile who carried out 2,000 sexual assaults on children dies in hospital bed

Harold Burnett
Harold Burnett
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A pervert who sexually assaulted 2,000 boys and girls has died in hospital with prison officers by his bedside.

Wealthy caravan park owner Harold Burnett, 83, was two years into a 12 year jail sentence imposed by Judge Robert Altham at Preston Crown Court.

He had been found guilty by a jury of over 2,000 sex assaults on boys and girls carried out at two houses in Lytham.

Burnett was a prisoner at Garth Prison, Leyland, in the sex offenders unit when he was taken ill. He was taken to Chorley Hospital where he died over the weekend after developing breathing problems.

The jury in his case was told that his victims were as young as four years old.

Burnett had shown no remorse.

During the nine-day trial, two men and a woman – all now in their 50s and 60s – told of their abuse at the hands of Burnett, of Lytham Road, Lytham.

The court heard they were sexually assaulted at a small terraced house in south Fylde.

One of the victims told how his life was made “horrible” by the crimes.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said Burnett was a strong man with a “vile temper” – but the abuse stopped when he was 12 and physically resisted.

He added: “He was kind to me but there was an element of menace about it as I knew there was something wrong about it.”

The court also heard from a woman who said she stayed silent for decades about her suffering.

She described her abuser as “controlling” and “a bully”. He targeted her on a regular basis over a number of years, the court heard.