Extended sentence for man who abducted and sexually assaulted child

James Blackie. (S)
James Blackie. (S)

A man described by a judge as a “recalcitrant, predatory paedophile” has been given a 12-and-a-half year extended sentence.

James Blackie (31), of no fixed abode, was sentenced at Burnley Crown Court after he abducted an eight-year-old boy in the town and sexually assaulted him at his then home in Reed Street, Burnley.

The court heard that Blackie, wearing a red coat, had approached the boy who had been playing in the street. He asked the boy if he wanted some money and led him back to an upstairs bedroom at the property.

Prosecutor David Traynor told the hearing that Blackie feigned a stumble to knock the boy onto the bed before attempting repeatedly to pull his trousers down.

It was only when there was a loud bang from elsewhere in the property or next door which distracted Blackie, that the boy managed to struggle free and get out the house.

Blackie’s crime was only discovered when police raided his cell in HMP Oakwood in the Midlands in July 2015.

It was discovered material written by Blackie for sexual gratification relating to child abuse was being shared between him and other inmates.

Once typed out, the material police found ran to 60 pages and contained approximately 23,000 words and the names of a number of children according to Mr Traynor.

The boy’s name was included in the documents several times and a police investigation was launched which brought them to Burnley.

The boy had kept quiet about the incident but the court heard through a victim impact statement from his grandmother how it had affected him.

She said that he had been a loving and kind boy but that changed at approximately eight when mood swings started and changes in the boy’s behaviour had been noticed at school too.

Blackie had pleaded guilty to one count of abducting a child, one count of sexually assaulting a child and one count of breaching a sexual offences prevention order.

He was jailed for two years for failing to comply with the requirements of the sex offenders’ register and breaching that sexual offences prevention order after he befriended a family with a two year old daughter.

Blackie was previously jailed for 20 months in 2010, along with his twin brother Patrick, who remains in prison, for making indecent images of children.

Hugh Barton (defending) said that Blackie was troubled by the fact he had had no input into the pre-sentence report as he had not been interviewed by the probation service.

Blackie’s opinion, he told the court, was that it was giving a distorted view of him and that he did recognise he had a serious problem and wanted to do the programmes to address those problems.

Mr Barton said that this, albeit very serious, was the first “hands on” sexual assault Blackie had committed and that there was no evidence to his knowledge that any of the other children named in the notes written by Blackie had been abused by Blackie.

Judge James Adkin said Blackie was a “dangerous offender” and the facts “made for disturbing reading”.

He said that if there had not been the distraction, he felt sure Blackie would have committed a more serious sexual offence on the boy.

Issuing Blackie with an extended sentence, he told the defendant that in his view there was “a high likelihood” he would commit further offences on children.

Blackie will serve seven-and-a-half years in jail before he is released on licence for five years. He is eligible for parole after five years.

The judge put him on the sexual offenders register for life and extended the scope of Blackie’s indefinite sexual harm order to include the distribution of any of his written material.

Following the sentencing, Det. Chief Insp. Claire McEnery, head of Lancashire Police’s Dangerous and Sexual Offenders’ Unit, said: “It is apparent from Blackie’s letters that his fantasies related to the abuse of real children he had met.

“He articulated a clear motivation and depraved desire to abuse children.

“By writing down his sick fantasies enabled us to keep him off the streets and from there to carry out a thorough investigation which identified and safeguarded numerous children who could have been future victims of this vile individual.

“He is clearly an extremely dangerous man who has shown an escalation in his offending from images to writings to contact offences and child abduction.

“I would like pay tribute to the bravery of this young victim identified through our enquiry which enabled us to ensure that this very dangerous man stays in prison for a long time.”