Merseyside milkman jailed for sexually abusing boys

A milkman who sexually abused boys over a period of three decades has been jailed for nine and a half years.

David Sparks, 61, of Keswick Road, Wallasey, Merseyside, carried out a "catalogue of sexual abuse" on 10 boys, Liverpool Crown Court heard on Monday.

He plied his victims with alcohol and showed them pornographic images before abusing them, the court was told.

Sparks pleaded guilty to 20 child sex offences between 1972 and 2001 at an earlier hearing.

The court was told that Sparks would initially carry out sexual acts in front of his victims, but over several months, he became more forceful and threatening before abusing them.

'Breach of trust'

Philip Astbury, prosecuting, said: "The grooming behaviour of the defendant ordinarily involved an introduction to pornographic material, the giving of gifts or money and the provision of alcohol in return for sexual favours.

"Another recurring feature was his long-standing employment as a milkman.

"That enabled him to provide casual work to those who he sought to abuse, thereby winning their friendship and, on occasions, providing an excuse for boys to stay with him overnight."

One victim told how Sparks had abused him between 50 and 100 times and that it had become "routine".

The court heard that Sparks' abuse began in 1972 when, at the age of 23, he abused a 13-year-old boy.

Jailing him, Judge David Harris QC said: "Your offending behaviour was grave, highly damaging to your victims and disgraceful."

He added that Sparks' behaviour was a "gross breach of his trust and power".

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