STEPHEN WEBB, 57, of Weston Green, Dagenham, was convicted last week at Snaresbrook Crown Court of one count of a rape of a child under 16 and four counts of indecent sexual assault.
The verdicts came after Webb had pleaded guilty to three counts of making an indecent video of a child. He will return to Snaresbrook in the near future for sentencing.
Webb’s victim was a vulnerable, 14 year old boy whom he befriended via a chat room. Webb let the victim stay overnight in his house in Dagenham on occasion, as the vulnerable teenager was having some problems at home. Once the victim was feeling comfortable there, Webb began to commit sexual assaults on him and then raped him.
The befriending and attacks took place in 1999 and 2000. The victim made his allegations to the police in 2014. The Metropolitan Police Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse command investigated the allegations and were able to charge Webb on 7th December last year. Their work and perseverance has now been rewarded with the convictions.
Detective Constable Charlotte Carter, the investigating officer in this case, explained why the victim delayed reporting the crimes, “The victim saw Webb as a surrogate father figure and someone he could confide in about being gay. Webb abused this position of trust to exploit a vulnerable teenager for his own satisfaction. Webb has failed to show any remorse for his despicable actions throughout. I would like to pay tribute to the victim who had the courage to report this distressing crime to police, and attend court to give evidence against Webb. I hope that today’s conviction gives the victim a measure of comfort and closure.”
Detective Inspector Keith Ward added, “This conviction is another example of how the passage of time should not be perceived as a barrier to tackling offenders. We remain committed to giving victims the chance to come forward and tell us what they have endured so that we can help find them justice.”
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