Leeds & West Yorkshire

Philip Longbottom: Abuse victim's family calls for inquiry

Philip Longbottom Image copyright West Yorkshire Police
Image caption A judge said Philip Longbottom "systematically sought out" boys and young men as "prey"

The family of a sexual abuse victim is calling for a public inquiry into how a paedophile was allowed to continue abusing boys for more than 40 years despite police attention.

Philip Longbottom, 69, has been convicted of more than 50 offences against 18 boys between 1968 and 2010.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) turned down attempts at a prosecution three times due to a lack of evidence.

The CPS said its "approach to this type of offending has evolved considerably".

In April, a court heard the father-of-three and scout leader used his wealth and influence to befriend victims' families and then bribe or threaten children to keep them quiet.

Longbottom, of Shipley, was jailed for a minimum of seven years in 2016 and was ordered to serve at least six more after a second prosecution.

Wendy Murray's brother Andrew Duggan was one of his 18 victims and died in 2010 aged 47.

She said she felt "angry and let down" by the CPS and was pushing for an inquiry into why a prosecution did not take place sooner.

"How many statements from young boys and parents saying they have been raped does the CPS need. They had masses and masses of evidence over several decades naming the same person," she said.

"I really do think that they have to answer some hard questions, this is of huge public interest and concern and we really do need answers from the CPS."

Image caption Andrew Duggen was one of the boys abused by Philip Longbottom, with his sister Wendy Murray calling for a public inquiry

In a 2017 letter to Mrs Murray, the Independent Police Complaints Commission said West Yorkshire Police had sent files to the CPS in 1986, 1989 and 2001 but were told there was insufficient evidence.

It was also revealed Longbottom had a conviction dating back to 1970 for sexual assault.

The CPS said it considered a file of evidence against Longbottom in 1986, with "much changed" since then in terms of the law and evidence.

Gerry Wareham, chief crown prosecutor for CPS Yorkshire and Humberside, said: "Today, our understanding of and approach to this type of offending has evolved considerably, and we have teams of specialist lawyers who are specifically trained to advise the police on their investigations, make charging decisions and build a case to put before a jury.

"We have no record of any further files being submitted to us in relation to Longbottom until 2016."

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