November 2011

David Pratt an ‘evil, monstrous and predatory’ child rapist, blasts judge

An “evil, monstrous and predatory” child rapist and serial sexual abuser has been jailed for 24 years for a string of offences against victims as young as three.

David Leslie Pratt, 47, was branded “bestial and barbaric” by a judge at Bradford Crown Court for 15 years of relentless assault against four youngsters who had to re-live their “absolute horror” to a jury.

Pratt was convicted yesterday afternoon of 20 charges including sexually abusing and raping a girl when she was aged four to 15.

He was also found guilty of the systematic sexual molestation of three other youngsters, even urging two of them to do depraved sexual things to one another.

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC praised the victims, now all adults living away from the area, for their “compelling accounts” in court.

“It is rare to see such a routine, relentless, prolonged, systematic, callous and persistent abuse,” the judge said.

He told Pratt, who sat impassively in the dock twiddling his thumbs: “You are evil, you are a monster.”

The court was told that Pratt’s offending was fuelled by alcohol and could partly be explained by his “mental limitations”.

Judge Durham Hall said Pratt targeted his first victim when she was about four years old. Routine sexual assault escalated to rape when she was 11 or 12.

Pratt clamped his hand over her mouth and threatened to kill her if she spoke out. The judge said he raped her as she “screamed and fought and freaked out.”

One young child was used as “a sex toy” when aged two or three and others were made to watch pornographic videos and plied with Tia Maria before being sexually attacked.

Judge Durham Hall said that the girl who was raped had had her life “utterly destroyed”.

One victim broke down in the witness box and made death threats to him when giving evidence.

The judge told Pratt, who had moved from Bradford to an address in James Street, Salford, Greater Manchester: “You were out of control and beyond the pale. You had no moral bounds whatsoever.”

He added: “I can’t give these children their lives back but I can say to them: “Your suffering does not go unpunished”.

The judge commended the officer in the case, Detective Constable Sonia Hutchinson, of West Yorkshire Police Child and Public Protection Unit, for “helping to bring an evil man to justice.”

After the case, DC Hutchinson said: “I would like to thank the victims for having the courage to come forward after such a horrendous crime.”