David Wilson: Victims of prolific paedophile detail impact of abuse ahead of sentencing

·3-min read

The devastating impact of a paedophile's online abuse of hundreds of young boys has been laid bare to a judge.

Victims of prolific abuser David Wilson and their mothers read out impact statements detailing wrecked lives, ruined relationships, self-harm and suicidal thoughts.

Wilson, a 36-year-old roofer from Norfolk, is thought to have targeted 500 young boys aged four to 14, posing as young girls and duping them into sending him indecent images of themselves and their siblings via Facebook.

When they resisted he blackmailed them by threatening to share the pictures with their friends and, in at least two cases, he did just that.

One boy, a footballer Wilson coached from the age of nine, read a statement directly to his abuser who sat on a video link in a room at Norwich jail.

Now a teenager, the victim said: "Do you remember me? I was the little boy that used to play striker. I was nine, I was top scorer. I was the kid you took advantage of, that you abused, blackmailed, made feel suicidal. The kid whose childhood you stole.

"Childhood is meant to be about having fun, but since then there is a part of me that is dark, depressed and angry. I was there to enjoy myself without any cares, you stole that from me.

"I had problems at school, I used to be confident talking to new people but my social skills deteriorated. Before I blamed myself, but now I look back on myself like a little brother, you made me suffer.

"I want you to know I was one of the victims that put you in prison. Saying it on behalf of the little boy you abused, now I can see what you really are, from now on the world will know you, David Wilson, were a pathetic paedophile."

The mother of another young victim broke down in tears several times as she recounted the effect of Wilson's abuse of her son.

Dabbing at her eyes, she told the judge at Ipswich Crown Court: "I failed to protect my child from the monster who preyed on him. I was unable to keep him safe."

Another mother described watching her 15-year-old son being arrested and taken from their home because of indecent images he had exchanged with Wilson.

Wilson admitted 96 charges involving 52 victims, but National Crime Agency investigators believe he abused up to 500 victims and may have approached 5,000 young boys over several years.

His lawyer Michael Clare said: "He fully accepts his responsibly and although he opened up about his own childhood sex abuse, he doesn't blame that for his own behaviour.

"He will accept whatever help he can be given in prison."

NCA investigators arrested Wilson, from King's Lynn, three times before compiling enough evidence to charge him.

They have criticised Facebook's plans to encrypt its platform to deter hackers, saying it would make it far more difficult to detect abusers such as Wilson.

Wilson is to be sentenced later today.