Boy fled sick molester's 4x4 and banged on farmhouse for help

Jed Denton <i>(Image: Thames Valley Police)</i>
Jed Denton (Image: Thames Valley Police)

A teenager fled his abuser’s 4x4 and hammered at a stranger’s window in the dead of night.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been sexually assaulted by Jed Denton – having been driven from Oxford to Noke on a night in December 2021.

He fled the Toyota Hilux pick-up, having told 29-year-old Denton that he needed to relieve himself.

Prosecutor Rebecca Foulkes told Oxford Crown Court on Monday afternoon (January 30) that the boy ran across fields and banged on the window of a house, waking the occupants and telling them he had just been molested.

READ MORE: Oxford paedophile jailed after more child sex offences

Denton was arrested and questioned a number of times, each time denying that he had sexually assaulted the child.

After the defendant’s saliva was found on the boy’s underwear, Denton claimed that it was ‘well-known’ he used to spit into bottles.

It was suggested that the victim, who was cross-examined by his abuser’s barrister at a video-recorded court hearing last year, had collected the saliva and deposited it on his own boxer shorts as part of a blackmail attempt.

Jailing him for eight years and 11 months, Judge Ian Pringle KC said: “It is difficult to imagine the terror that must have been going through the young boy’s mind.”

The jail sentence was met with a clap and sharp intake of breath from the public gallery, where members of the boy’s family were sitting.

Ms Foulkes, prosecuting, said that Denton had ‘groomed’ the boy, having taken him out for a drive in September.

Several hours before the sexual assault, the defendant offered to take the victim and a friend out for a drive.

He bought them Courvoisier brandy and Strongbow cider, then, later, some chips, smoked cannabis with them, and made comments about wanting to tie the boy to a tree and ‘saying something about rape’.

The friend was dropped off at his home, as he wanted to use the toilet.

Rather than wait for him, Denton sped off with his victim still in the 4x4 - hired under an alias in November by the defendant, who was banned from driving at the time.

“[The victim] described feeling scared and kept asking Mr Denton where he was taking him,” Ms Foulkes said. The driver ‘kept looking at him’ but did not reply to the boy’s questioning.

They drove down dark country lanes until Denton parked up, turned off the car’s headlights and strongarmed the child into the space between the front seats.

His sexual assault of the child lasted several minutes until the boy said he needed to urinate and made good his escape.

In a victim impact statement, the child’s mother said: “Never would I imagine that my son would be the victim of such a horrendous crime.”

She said her son told her he ‘didn’t want this to happen to another child’. Describing herself as ‘proud’ of the boy for fighting the case through the courts, she said: “What child can go through hell but still wants to do what is right?”

The woman ‘prayed’ that the criminal justice system would ‘prevent this abuser from harming another child and cause so much pain to another family’.

Denton, of Underhill Circus, Barton, pleaded guilty at earlier hearings to sexual activity with a child, driving whilst disqualified and possession of cannabis. His not guilty plea to a charge of false imprisonment was maintained.

He had 45 previous convictions, including 10 for driving whilst disqualified. Judge Pringle noted that, although he was not sentencing Denton for false imprisonment, there was an ‘element of abduction’ in the sexual offending.

In mitigation, Ronan McCann took the judge’s attention to a letter written by his client to the court. He was concerned for his mother, who was unwell.

As part of the sentence, Denton was given a restraining order banning him from contacting his victim for life, a lifetime sexual harm prevention order, five year driving disqualification and he will remain on the sex offender register until his death.

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.

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