Wayne Godwin: Rotherham paedophile who groomed and abused young boy received death threats
"Before this happened, I was living a good and happy life"
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This is the face of a 48-year-old man, who groomed and sexually abused a 12-year-old boy, after gaining the trust of those closest to him.
Sheffield Crown Court heard how Wayne Godwin’s manipulation of his young victim was such that even after the boy spoke to his mother about what had been happening, he prefaced it by saying Godwin was 'not a paedophile'.
"But you are a paedophile,"Judge Graham Reeds KC told Godwin, adding: "The grooming behaviour was very significant, it involved taking him to football matches, buying him a Premier League team’s football shirt, an expensive football shirt…you sent him messages professing your love for him…the purpose behind this was to make him trust you, and to make him less likely that he would report you."
In a candid, and devastating, statement to the court, the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said Godwin’s behaviour had left him feeling 'scared, anxious and worried'.
The young boy said he was worried about the impact Godwin’s abuse was likely to have on him as he moves into adulthood, and looks to get married and have children.
"Before this happened, I was living a good and happy life. Now, for the past two years I’ve been down, anxious and scared about everything. I wake up at four in the morning, and can’t get back to sleep. When I go to school, I can’t concentrate like I used to," the boy said.
Judge Reeds told the court that the abuse Godwin, of Oval Road, East Dene, Rotherham subjected the boy to only came to an end when the boy’s mother noticed a message Godwin had sent him and made 'enquiries about it'.
After the boy went to the police, a sexual video of the boy that Godwin had groomed him into sending was discovered, after police seized and analysed both the boy’s phone and Godwin’s electronic devices, the court heard during a hearing held on November 15, 2023.
Prosecuting barrister, Michael Collins, said officers also discovered a total of 265 images showing children being sexually abused on Godwin’s devices, along with a extreme pornographic image 'showing a person having oral sex with a puppy'. A further 30 prohibited images of children were also found on Godwin’s devices.
Godwin, who previously had a clean criminal record, pleaded guilty to a catalogue of sex offences at an earlier hearing, including: four counts of inciting a boy under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity; two counts of sexual assault; three counts of making indecent images of Categories A, B and C; possessing an extreme pornographic image, and possessing prohibited images of children.
Defending, Timothy Jacobs said: "He is, of course, rightly ashamed and embarrassed about his behaviour. He knows his behaviour was appalling."
Mr Jacobs said that following his arrest, Godwin received legal advice from an individual who encouraged him to make no comment in police interview, something he initially adhered to.
"He describes the decision to follow the advice he was given as one of the biggest regrets of his life," Mr Jacobs told the court, adding that a 'truer picture' of Godwin, and the remorse he feels, was reflected in his subsequent police interviews when he was 'frank' about what he had done.
Mr Jacobs said Godwin was a man with a 'troubled background,' who, prior to being brought before the court, had been punished through the loss of his job and 'death threats from neighbours' which had resulted in him moving and admitting to what he had done to members of his family.
Mr Jacobs said there is 'work that needs to be done with this man,' and said that while it is 'hoped' this work can be done in a custodial setting, 'resources are stretched'.
Judge Reeds jailed Godwin for five years, four months and told him he will be required to serve at least two-thirds of his sentence.
He said that in his view, the harm caused to the boy as a result of Godwin’s abuse was 'significant'.
Judge Reeds also made Godwin the subject of a sexual harm prevention order, which will restrict his use of the internet and prohibit him from spending time with children.
The order will be in place until further order of the court, and Godwin will also be required to sign on to the sex offenders’ register 'without limit of time'.