A man has been jailed for over eight years for sexual offences against girls in #Newham in the 1970s. David Budd, 72, was caught when one of his victims approached police in July 2017 and an investigation was launched. https://t.co/mZOuS0xTFR pic.twitter.com/4SINfdBeSw— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) August 24, 2018
A former ice cream man has been arrested for using his work as a way to groom and abuse children.
Although it sounds like the plot of a horror movie, unfortunately, it is real life.
David Budd, 72, was sentenced on Thursday in London after admitting to abusing four female victims who were all 9 years old in the 1970s. He pleaded guilty to seven counts of indecent assault and four counts of indecency with a child.
He preyed on young victims in east London where he would gain children’s trust before abusing them.
Detective Colleen Ryan thanked the victims for coming forward after so many years, adding that no child should ever go through what they had to experience.
"He preyed on young children by using his position as an ice-cream seller to groom them. He succeeded in gaining their trust and then subjected them to abuse that no child should ever have to endure,” Ryan said. "I would like to commend [the victims] for their bravery in coming forward and finding the courage to speak to police. We never underestimate how difficult this must be.”
While Budd got a mere sentence of eight years and 10 months for the terror he exposed those children to, Ryan said she hopes that this case helps to prevent others from happening in the future.
"Child abuse will never be tolerated. I hope this conviction sends out a strong message to people that no matter the passage of time that has passed police will conduct a thorough investigation and make every effort to bring the perpetrators of these depraved crimes to justice," she said.
According to the charity organization National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), one in 20 children in the United Kingdom have been sexually abused. Unfortunately, one in every three children who suffer abuse never tell anyone about it.
In light of this case being solved decades after the children were exposed to abuse, it’s important that authorities highlight these statistics, asking educators and, most importantly, parents to stay alert to potential signs that their children were victims of abuse.
It is our duty as a society to help protect children from abuse and encourage victims to speak out so that predators can be caught before they hurt others.
Banner and thumbnail image credit: Flickr user Christiano Betta