In two separate cases in the last 48 hours, two predators, both former Tory Mayors, have been convicted of numerous child sex offences, one of which includes the rape of a young girl.

Simon Thornton was the Tory Mayor of Godalming and a Councillor. On 18 June he pleaded guilty to over 20 child sex offences and was jailed for 9 years at Guildford Crown Court.

When he was arrested in October 2017, in the truest fashion of an arrogant sociopath, Thornton told police, “You know I’m the Mayor of Godalming“.

Thornton was involved in a three-year sexual relationship with a teenager aged under-16, and also owned images and videos of children, some of which were the most serious ‘Category A’ categorisation. 

David Boswell was the Tory Mayor of Pembroke and a Pembrokeshire County Councillor. On 18th June he was convicted at Swansea Crown Court after having been found guilty of raping a child, as well as three indecent assaults against her and another young girl.

In all, after being found guilty of further charges of child abuse, Boswell has been convicted of five charges of child sex offences.

The attention given to the crimes and their perpetuators was, typically, sharply lacking any real attention in the mainstream media – a fact that did not go amiss on Twitter.

Sex abuse carried out by people in positions of power or trust have, unfortunately, increased by more than 80% since 2014.

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The question, one supposes, is what comes first? Do positions of power attract the kind of sociopaths who would engage in this behaviour anyway, because of the immunity that presumptions of trust and responsibility associated with those positions endow? Or do individuals become somehow distorted by the corrupting effect of power, such that abhorrent practices like child sex abuse become attractive merely because they are the most extreme example of despicable behaviour, and to get away with that is to get away with everything?

In any event, perverse behaviour like this is something that goes to the top. Indeed, Theresa May herself, while she was Home Secretary, was accused of a cover-up at the Home Office following the destruction of hundreds of documents concerning a child sex abuse ring amongst high-profile members of Parliament.

The cases of the two former Tory Mayors convicted of child sex offences have been all but ignored by the mainstream media, but the endemic issue of these kinds of abuses being close to habitual amongst power circles should not be.

Accusations of paedophilia go to the heart of this government and governments before it, comprising scandals going back to Thatcher’s premiership when her government conspired to cover up a paedophile ring. 

In any event, the conviction of two former elected Tory officials for child sex abuse offences is a step in the right direction, and hopefully now the light is being shone with more purpose and more quickly on trespasses such as these.

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