A man has been sentenced to 14 years behind bars for sexual offences against two boys after appearing at Kingston Crown Court earlier today (4 June).
Julius Anthony Edwards, 49, formerly of Queens Road, Farnborough, was found guilty of the offences, which took place between March and April 2020 against the two victims, who were aged 13 and 14 at the time, following a three-week trial at Kingston Crown Court in April.
Edwards was convicted of 18 offences, including three counts of sexual activity with a boy under 16; nine counts of engaging in penetrative sexual activity with a boy under 16; one count of sexual assault by penetration; three counts of attempting to engage in penetrative sexual activity with a boy under 16; and two counts of failure to comply with a notice to provide a key.
He pleaded guilty to one count of attempted sexual communication with a child at an earlier hearing bringing the total number of offences to 19.
Edwards was also given an indefinite Sexual Harm Protection Order, will be a registered sex offender for life and has been barred from working with children.
Edwards’ offending first came to light when police were investigating another matter in relation to one of the victims, and concerns were raised that the victim was potentially being groomed by Edwards.
The victim was further interviewed and made allegations of contact and online sexual offences against him by Edwards.
During the interview, the victim mentioned Edwards had bragged about relationships he had had with other underage boys.
Further enquiries were carried out and the second victim was identified, who also said he had been sexually abused by Edwards.
During this investigation, the Metropolitan Police contacted the investigating officer to notify him that Edwards had been linked to an investigation of sexual communication with a child (online), involving an undercover online officer posing as a 13-year-old boy.
Edwards was a teacher at the Dove House School in Basingstoke at the time of his arrest but neither of the victims were pupils at the school.
Detective Constable Mike Stanley, who investigated the case, said: “Edwards is a sexual predator with a dangerous interest in young teenage boys, manipulating them and then lying to cover his actions.
“I would like to pay tribute to the victims who came forward and then had to re-live the ordeal they had suffered at the hands of Edwards all over again in court.
“Hopefully the fact that Edwards is now behind bars will give them the closure they need to move on from this abuse, despite the huge impact he has had on both their lives.”
DC Stanley continued: “I hope that the sentence handed out today demonstrates our commitment to carrying out a full and thorough investigation to ensure that offenders are brought to justice. The tireless work of the team involved in this investigation, including the Guildford Safeguarding Investigation Unit and the Digital Forensics Team, has ensured that Edwards is behind bars where he belongs.”
Describing the abuse against him by Edwards, one of the victims said he had felt “trapped” and that it was like Edwards was controlling him and that he “couldn’t dare speak out and move or stop his actions”.
The second victim said Edwards had “taken away his basic human rights” and that the abuse he had suffered had caused him “emotional, mental and physical pain” which had left him with a “life sentence”.
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