Convicted paedophile had sex with Colne girl (14)

John Duffy

John Duffy

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A now convicted paedophile had a romantic relationship with a young teenager that led to a terminated pregnancy, a court was told.

John Duffy (51) and currently serving 12 years, was 21 when he started dating the girl in 1983, when she was 14 and in the fourth form of Park High School, Colne.

Duffy pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent assault. Formal not guilty verdicts were returned on two rape allegations brought by the woman after she read, in January, that Duffy, of Skipton Road, Colne, had been jailed for a string of sex offences against another teenager.

He was jailed for 18 months concurrently on each count, to run concurrently with his present sentence.

In a victim impact statement the woman said the termination she had when she was 15 left a lasting impression on her, and that she had tried to take her own life.

She was told by the doctor that she might have difficulty having children in later life, and that preyed on her mind.

She and her mother did not press charges at the time to keep the pregnancy a secret from her father, who had since died.

The relationship was allowed to continue, with parental approval.

Burnley Crown Court heard the pair went out for eight months after getting to know each other at the North Valley pub, where the girls’ parents were regulars and Duffy worked behind the bar.

They used to meet after school, after Duffy finished a day shift at John Cottons and before his work at the pub.

The first sexual assault happened on a Saturday afternoon when he walked into her bedroom, knowing her parents were out shopping. He was considered a family friend, and had also been on holiday with them.

The girl ended the relationship a few months later after he had sex with her on the living room floor at her home when her parents were out and her sister was asleep in the same room.

It was said on Duffy’s behalf that he thought the girl was 15 when he first met her.

Passing sentence, Judge Andrew Woolman said: “It may be the victim does not feel justice has been done, but my hands are tied.”

Judge Woolman said had the most recent charges been heard at the same time as the original court case, they would have been dealt with in totality, and would not have increased the substantial sentence Duffy was given.