A SEX predator has been jailed for 18 years after he repeatedly abused children inside public toilets in Chester.
Alan Robert Grimes, a self confessed loner with a previous conviction for an indecent assault on a young boy in 1984, yesterday pleaded guilty to a string of rape and sexual assault charges on children over an 11-month period.
The sex offences came to light after it was discovered that Grimes, 46, had exchanged a text message with a member of a paedophile ring in South Yorkshire, Chester Crown Court heard.
While it was not sexual in nature the text message did make reference to young boys.
Police inquiries led to investigations from social services which later revealed that Grimes, of Meynall Place, Blacon, Chester, had been repeatedly abusing children.
Grimes would take children inside a toilet cubicle where he would touch them sexually over their clothing and perform sex acts on one of them.
Grimes sat with his head bowed throughout the sentencing where he pleaded guilty to two counts of rape, six counts of sexual assault, and two counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
He was arrested on December 19 when he initially denied the offences but later admitted them saying he felt shame for what he had done.
The court heard the incidents had heavily impacted emotionally upon the children. Grimes had also been disowned by his family as a result.
Reports stated that Grimes had behaved in a manipulative and predatory manner, while Judge Roger Dutton, sentencing in the case, told Grimes he had groomed the children in order to indulge in his own sexual desires.
Judge Dutton said he had no alternative but to sentence Grimes to an extended prison sentence, deeming him a serious risk to children in the future.
Judge Dutton said:“You committed the most serious and foul offence and a horrible breach of trust.
“It is quite clear you were effectively grooming these children.”
Peter Moss, defending, said: “Mr Grimes has never sought to shy away from his offences and feels deep shame.
“He is a man who is somewhat a loner and has not had a single adult relationship in his life.
“He has learning difficulties and finds it hard to converse with those outside of his immediate family. With respect he is operating at a level below his age.
“His family, understandably as a result of these offences have completely disowned him. It is a desperate issue for him to live with.
“Disowned by his family as he is, upon his release from what he knows is a significant inevitable custodial sentence, given the loner that he is he knows that it is going to be difficult following his release.”
Judge Dutton Sentenced Grimes to 18 years in prison, with possible release after ten years subject to whether he is deemed safe to be released in to the community.
For the rape charges Grimes was also sentenced to five years imprisonment to run concurrent to the 18 year sentences for the other charges.
Judge Dutton added: “It is clear from reports that you are deemed to pose a high risk of harm to children within the community and I am very concerned about the future risk to youngsters. There is a serious likelihood of you committing grave offences in the future and work must be done in order to change your thinking and behaviour in order to protect the public.”
See full story in the Chester Leader