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We have today, Wednesday 28th April, welcomed the sentencing of a 60 year-old man for historical child sex abuse.
John Merritt, of Leathers Lane, Halewood, was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court for abusing two boys in the late 1970s in the Liverpool area.
Merritt, who was a teenager at the time of the offences and was called Walter Merritt, was found guilty of three counts of sexual offences against the two boys following a trial.
He was sentenced to eight years for each of the three offences, to run concurrently, and will serve a minimum of six years behind bars and a further two years on licence. He has also been ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life.
In a victim personal statement one of the victims said Merritt had “changed his life forever.”
He said: “What he did to me and to other kids destroyed my life. Most of my teens, my 20's, 30's and 40's was spent in different prisons throughout the UK.
“I needed not to remember what this man did to me as a kid, so I took drugs which made me not think about what had been done to me by him.
“He ruined my whole life. All my relationships failed with me being insecure with what happened to me. I stole to fund my drug habit which put me in jail..one big vicious circle.
“In my opinion he should be put in prison for a very long time for not only my life that he ruined, but all the other people's lives that he's ruined. It's time he pays for what he did.”
Speaking after the sentencing Detective Constable Julia Jennings said: “The actions of Merritt have clearly had a long lasting and devastating impact on his victims who have been forced to relive their ordeals through his trial.
“I would like to pay tribute to their courage and strength in coming forward to speak up against Merritt and I hope that today’s sentencing will finally give them the closure they have waited so long for.
“Time is never a barrier to investigating a crime and bringing someone to justice and I would encourage anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse to come forward. We have specially trained officers who can support you through the investigation process.”
Anyone with information or wants to report a sexual offence is asked to call 101 where you will be spoken to by specially trained officers or you can pass information to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Support for victims is also available through the registered charity the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre Cheshire and Merseyside, who can be contacted on 01925 221 546 or 0330 363 0063 or Rape and Sexual Assault Merseyside (RASA) on 0151 558 1801.