Pensioner jail term for sex attacks in 1981

A pensioner has been jailed for five years after being found guilty of a series of unspeakable sex attacks on a youngster.

Norman Bevitt, 69, repeatedly abused the victim while staying at a youth hostel near Whitby in 1981.

Bevitt’s crimes did not come to light until 2012 because the victim, now middle-aged, feared being alienated if he reported the attacks andthat he wouldn’t be believed.

Prosecutor Nick Askins said the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was an “exceptionally vulnerable” young man at the time, adding that “he continues to be haunted by the memories.”

The prosecutor said these memories were brought vividly back to life in 2008 when, years after the attacks, Bevitt contacted the victim on Friends Reunited, the social-networking site, only to incriminate himself following an exchange of emails.

Bevitt, of Eastwood Court, Carlton Miniott, near Thirsk, was trapped into a “tacit” admission of his horrific acts during the online exchange, in which the victim pretended he had forgiven his tormentor and asked if he remembered what he had done to him almost 30 years ago.

Bevitt, a former mental-health nurse, was called in for questioning by police and charged with nine counts of indecently assaulting the teenage boy. He denied the allegations but a jury at York Crown Court found him guilty on all nine counts during a trial in January.

The court heard Bevitt repeatedly abused the boy in a hostel dormitory in Kettleness and at isolated locations including a beach and a cliff top. On one occasion the victim claimed Bevitt swung a pencil or chain to hypnotise him as he made him count or recite the alphabet. When the victim woke from his trance, he felt woozy and his shirt was undone.

During the abuse, which lasted a number of weeks, the victim, originally from the Leeds area, said he felt “like I wanted to die” and was referred to a psychiatrist.

Bevitt’s defence counsel said after being arrested in 2013, Bevitt suffered a heart attack and had to have a triple bypass.

He added the pensioner was now in poor health and would not cope well in prison.

But Recorder Mr T. Khan told Bevitt: “The abuse that you committed against (the victim) has clearly had a profound effect on him throughout his life.

“When you contacted him completely out of the blue, all the bad memories of what you’d done to him in 1981 came flooding back to him. He’d done his level best to put these memories behind him and he said that giving evidence about what had happened was deeply distressing for him.”

As well as the jail sentence, Mr Khan imposed a restraining order banning Bevitt from contacting the victim. Bevitt was told he would also have to report to the authorities for life.