Runcorn man who sexually abused learning disabled adult jailed

A pervert from Runcorn was jailed for sexually abusing a learning disabled adult who cried after he assaulted them.

Mark Theobold, 60, was sentenced to 45 months in prison after pleading guilty to one charge over touching and three counts of sexual activity with a mentally-disordered adult who could not consent.

Prosecutor Dafydd Roberts told Chester Crown Court on Friday how Theobold’s vulnerable victim, who has learning disabilities, had been sick and cried after one of ordeals, in an incident they had tried to resist.

The offences happened over a two-month period.

A parent of the abuse victim said in a statement that it had been a ‘very tough experience’ for them, and they now want to be accompanied when going out due to feeling ‘mistrustful’ of others.

In addition, the ordeals had caused depression, anxiety and sleeplessness.

Mr Dafydd said Theobold, of Hazel Avenue, told police in interview that the sexual activity was ‘consensual’, however the defendant went on to enter four guilty pleas two weeks before trial.

Mark Theobold, 60, of Hazel Avenue, Runcorn, is led out to the prison van at Chester Crown Court(Image: runcornandwidnesweeklynews)

The judge, Recorder Anthony O’Donohoe, ordered two charges to lie on file and placed Theobold on the sex offenders’ register for life.

There was no application to make a Sexual Harm Prevention Order or restraining order.

Jeremy Rawson, defending, said Theobold had no previous convictions and merited a reduced sentence for entering guilty pleas before trial.

He said his client was in ‘many respects an unremarkable man’ who had worked all his life, having had to leave a job with chemical giant ICI when he was 25 years old due to cancer.

Mr Rawson said Theobold had shown ‘regret and remorse’.

Recorder O’Donohoe sentenced Theobold to three years and nine months in prison, reduced from six years due to his guilty pleas.

He said: “These are serious matters because the victim in this case has what is described as a learning disability and has serious cognitive disabilities and lacks the capacity to consent to your sexual activities.”

Police said Theobold was ‘despicable’.

Speaking after the hearing, Detective Sergeant Helen Newman said: “Mark Theobold took advantage of a very vulnerable person to satisfy his own selfish desires.

“His actions were despicable and will affect his victim for the rest of their life.

“The victim has been incredibly brave throughout this case and I would like to thank them for their courage in helping to bring Theobold to justice.

“I hope that the guilty verdict and the significant custodial sentence that has been handed down to Theobold brings about a degree of closure for the victim, who continues to be supported by their family and support agencies.

“Cheshire police takes all allegations of sexual offences extremely seriously.

“They are amongst the most traumatic of crimes and we want victims to be assured that we are here to help.

“Anyone who has been subjected to this type of crime should feel confident that they will receive the support they need from specialist officers at Cheshire police and support agencies we work alongside.

“They will be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve and any allegations will be thoroughly investigated, with the needs of the victim being our main focus.

“To report a sexual offence to Cheshire police call 101.”

Source: https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/runcorn-man-who-sexually-abused-14508986

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