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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 January, 2005, 14:32 GMT
Paedophile jail appeal rejected
William Goad
Some of Goad's victims were as young as eight-years-old
The Court of Appeal has refused to increase the minimum jail term to be served by a Plymouth man, thought to be Britain's most prolific paedophile.

Members of a support group for victims of sexual abuse had hoped William Goad, 60, would be behind bars for 18 years, after abusing boys for decades.

The ruling means Goad could ask for parole in less than six years' time.

Shy Keenan from support group Phoenix Survivors said they were "hurt" and "disappointed" at the judgement.

Millionaire Goad, of Ford Park Road, was jailed for life last October for sexual offences against boys over more than 40 years.

The judge imposed a tariff of six years and two months, the minimum he must serve before any parole hearing.

It is quite extraordinary that the judge took into account charitable work when his charitable work was a vehicle to abuse more children
Shy Keenan, Phoenix Survivors

Three appeal judges were asked to rule this "unduly lenient" at a hearing in London on Wednesday.

The request by Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith QC, followed an appeal by Phoenix Survivors.

Lord Justice Kennedy, one of three judges who heard the case, said that despite his appalling crimes, Goad had contributed much to society, collected funds for charity and had been esteemed in the local community in Plymouth.

He added that, despite the many appalling features of the case, Goad was "entitled to proper allowance" for his guilty pleas.

His poor health and age had to be considered as did the fact that he had himself been abused in his youth.

But Lord Justice Kennedy emphasised that he will not be released until the authorities are satisfied he poses no threat to the public and, in his case, his life sentence "may mean just that".

Shy Keenan from Phoenix Survivors said: "This is not a good day for victims and it is a very sad day for us.

"It is quite extraordinary that the judge took into account charitable work when his charitable work was a vehicle to abuse more children."

Goad was sentenced to life in prison for each of 14 specimen counts of serious sexual assaults to run concurrently with a three-year sentence for each of two counts of indecent assault.

Prison attack

In court, he was described as a "voracious, calculating, predatory and violent homosexual paedophile".

Goad was said to groom his victims, some aged as young as eight, by offering them well-paid jobs in his shop and inviting them back to his home.

He treated the boys who came to his house to sweets, soft drinks and money and let them play pool or computer games.

Some of Goad's victims said he continued to abuse them three to four times a week for two to three years.

The court heard that two of Goad's victims, not among those to whom the charges referred, had committed suicide.

The Court of Appeal heard that Goad is currently in hospital following a serious attack on him in prison.



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