The four men exploited by sick paedophile Darren Swift as children have all been left with severe emotional difficulties.
One of the victims ended up in prison after raping his half sister, while others struggled with their sexuality and suicidal feelings.
He said he thought he was homosexual. He thought it was his fault for letting it happen and he became promiscuous to prove he wasn’t homosexualProsecutor Sophie Drake
Even now, married man Swift insists he is innocent as he is a ‘religious man of the church’ – and says the men have come forward for ‘financial benefit’.
Sophie Drake, prosecuting at Sheffield Crown Court, said of the first victim: “He had a number of problems in his teenage years. He sniffed glue and he abused alcohol. He felt suicidal and he truanted from school.
“He said he thought he was homosexual. He thought it was his fault for letting it happen and he became promiscuous to prove he wasn’t homosexual.”
Of the second victim, Ms Drake said: “He said he had bottled up what had happened to him and suffered in silence.
“He too thought he was homosexual because he didn’t have a girlfriend until he was 21.”
The third victim served a jail sentence after raping his half sister.
Ms Drake said: “As a child he had problems with wetting and soiling himself and had nightmares. He took an overdose in 2011, which is the year he gave his interview.”
The court heard the fourth victim has also suffered with drug and alcohol abuse and wanted to end his life when he was 20 years old.
David Pojur, defending Swift, said: “He maintains that he is not guilty of these offences and that as a religious man of the church any sexual activity would have been prohibited.
“He was conscious of his obligations to the church and observed them. He maintains his position, as he did in the trial, that these gentlemen came forward for financial benefit.”
Her Honour Judge Jacqueline Davies told Swift: “In each case the offences were committed when you were in a position of trust towards the individual complainants.
“Those four young men did not know each other at the time, although two of them were put in touch with each other by a mutual friend a number of years later.
“Each one of those complainants has suffered severe emotional difficulties.
“Some have had cause to question their sexuality and this has led to difficulties in forming relationships as they became adults.”
DETECTIVE COMMENDS BRAVERY OF VICTIMS
The police officer who led the investigation into child abuser Darren Swift said he hopes the victims can now move on with their lives.
Det Con Ian Hampshire said Swift groomed the vulnerable young boys for his own sexual gratification.
He said: “I pay tribute to the victims who had the courage to come forward and disclose their ordeal to police.
“Because Swift continually denied his guilt, each victim was forced to relive their traumatic experience in front of a jury, which is further testament to their strength of character.
“I hope that for the victims, this marks the conclusion of years of torment for them and their families and they can now move forward with their lives knowing their abuser is behind bars.”