A BUS driver who sexually assaulted a 14-year-old boy in Golborne has been jailed.
Frederick Irish,58, of Brentwood Drive, Farnworth, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity at Liverpool Crown Court.
Irish showed some classic predatory behaviour towards this young boy, targeting him because of his interest in buses knowing that he would be able to forge a relationshipDC Lynn Hughes
Today he was jailed for 3 years 9 months.
Irish used his position as a bus driver to strike up a relationship with the victim, who was a bus enthusiast.
He first made contact with the 14-year-old via Facebook, using the boy’s interest in buses to build a relationship via text message and messages sent over the internet.
The victim then started to spend time on Irish’s bus on a weekly basis, trips which would soon progress to Irish taking him for food or on trips to the bus museum.
Gradually Irish started to ask questions about the victim’s sexuality, questioning which would culminate in him sexually assaulting the boy twice between 1 September and 30 October 2014.
He also asked the boy to send sexual images of himself via mobile phone.
Detective Constable Lynn Hughes from Wigan Phoenix team said: “Irish showed some classic predatory behaviour towards this young boy, targeting him because of his interest in buses knowing that he would be able to forge a relationship.
“He was very cautious to start with, only attempting to turn the relationship sexual once he had already established quite a strong friendship with the victim.
“He also exhibited classic grooming techniques, buying the boy gifts, food, taking him on trips and allowing him to ride along in the bus while he was driving his regular route.
“This poor young lad was left understandably traumatised by this incident, he only wanted a friend with whom to share his interest in buses and instead Irish exploited this to groom and sexually abuse him over a number of weeks.”