"Opportunistic" man on trial for historic child sex offences

By David Parker | 17/10/2019

'Opportunistic' man on trial for historic child sex offences

AN “OPPORTUNISTIC” man put his “lust for children before any sense of decency,” a jury in his crown court trial has been told.

Raymond Rowland (61) is accused of abusing boys and girls in the 1970s and 1980s and another girl around 20 years later.

He went on trial this week accused of 21 offences against two boys and three girls, including attempted rape and indecent assault in Rotherham and Cambridge.

Opening the case yesterday at Sheffield Crown Court, Prosecutor Mr Simon Reevell said: “The offending was opportunistic — when he could, he did.

“Mr Rowland is someone who, for a period of over 20 years, has been sexually attracted to children.

“He abused [these boys and girls] and later, when he found himself being able to abuse again, he took the opportunity with relish.”

Mr Reevell said Rowland had put his lust for children before any sense of decency.

He said that Rowland had told his first victim that he would be taken away from his mother if he told anyone of the abuse.

“That was the threat he used to these children,” said Mr Reevell.

“They were so frightened of the prospect that they kept quiet for years.”

The first complainant, who is now 51, told police during his interview that he had cried until 4am after he was first abused by Rowland.

Mr Reevell said the fifth complainant had come forward after her family had seen a report in the Dearne Valley Weekender about Rowland’s first appearance at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court in connection with the four other complainants.

Rowland, of West Street, Pontefract, denies 13 counts of indecent assault, five counts of buggery, attempted rape, gross indecency and sexual assault of a child.

The trial continues.

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