A retired council gardener has been jailed for 17 years for the systematic abuse and rape of a young boy.
George Walker, 70, of Sheernest, Holme, near Carnforth, gasped, staggered and grasped his chest in the dock at Bolton Crown Court as the Honorary Recorder of Bolton, Judge Timothy Clayson, sentenced him.
A jury found the 70-year-old guilty on all three charges of buggery and 21 counts of indecent assault.
He had already pleaded guilty to a further charge of indecent assault on a boy when he was aged 14, admitting that he had twice performed a sex act on the child.
All the charges related to one boy and were committed in the 1980s when Walker lived in Sharples, Bolton.
The court had heard that Walker worked as a council gardener until his retirement five years ago.
The court heard how Walker began abusing the boy when he was nine years old, starting when he raped the child during a “play fight”. The abuse finally ended when the boy was aged 14 and Walker forced him to carry out a sex act on him.
The boy managed to avoid coming into contact with Walker and kept quiet about it, only coming forward now he is in his 30s as he feared for another child’s safety.