A Rotherham Boys’ Brigade volunteer who left four young boys traumatised for life by years of sex abuse has been jailed for 23 years.
Darren Swift is serving the first day of his sentence for 43 offences today – even though two of his mentally scarred victims had reported his vile actions in 1997.
It was an inappropriate thing to have said to him and in the current climate it causes me more concernHer Honour Judge Jacqueline Davies
Sheffield Crown Court was told South Yorkshire Police had told Swift they ‘wouldn’t do anything about it’ if he admitted his crimes.
Her Honour Judge Jacqueline Davies said of the 1997 investigation: “I ordered a report about the lack of police action, which I find deeply concerning.
“It causes me considerable concern and that concern of mine needs to be passed onto the police.
“We heard from two of the complainants about how they made statements. The defendant was interviewed and he said the police told him if he admits it they won’t do anything about it.
“It was an inappropriate thing to have said to him and in the current climate it causes me more concern.”
Church-goer Swift, who uses an electric wheelchair and appeared in court via a video link, began abusing young boys as a teenager.
His first victim was just eight years old. Swift bonded with him through a shared interest in collecting beer mats before luring him into his bedroom and sexually abusing him.
Judge Davies said: “He was told not to tell anyone and he complied with that but was deeply troubled when he grew up.”
His second victim was 11 and a member of the Boys’ Brigade in Rotherham, with which Swift was involved.
“He went to your home and you indecently assaulted him,” said Judge Davies.
“He never returned but the impact on him was serious.
“He told no one because of the threats you uttered to him.” Swift’s other two victims were both aged about nine and were abused over a six or seven year period.
The Baptist-turned-Mormon met one of the children after befriending his father at church.
He began abusing the other boy after pretending to help his mother by taking him to activities such as ice hockey and tae kwondo.
Swift, aged 51, now of Telford, Shropshire, was convicted of five counts of buggery, 26 counts of indecent assault and 12 counts of indecency with a child between 1980 and 1997 after a trial last year.
He may have no unsupervised contact with children under 16 indefinitely and will be on the sex offenders register for life.
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