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Paedophile ‘to launch private prosecution’ against boy he tried to rape

Staff and agencies

A paedophile is attempting to launch a private prosecution against a man he tried to rape three decades ago, a court has heard.

Ronald Webb wants to launch legal action against his victim, who was 13 years old when he was attacked in the bathroom of Webb’s home in Swindon, Wiltshire, in 1986.

Webb, 75, was convicted of attempted rape following a trial at Bristol Crown Court earlier this month.

He claims the allegations are untrue and phoned Wiltshire Police last week to announce intention to bring private charges, a pre-sentencing hearing was told on Monday.

Prosecutor James Tucker told the court detective sergeant Adrian Bray received the call from Webb on 8 July.

Mr Tucker said: “He said he wished to set out a private prosecution against the victim.

“The sergeant was perhaps concerned the caller had mental health issues due to his odd conversation.

“Then he notes that what is alleged by the defendant, that, in effect, the victim has made a false allegation and that he would wish that person to be prosecuted.”

Webb is on bail with a night-time curfew until his sentencing hearing on 26 July.

The court heard how on the day of the attempted rape, he put on a pornographic film after luring the victim to his home.

Webb attacked the boy after the teenager went to use the toilet. After barging his way into the bathroom he forced the boy against the cistern and pulled down his football shorts.

The boy managed to escape when Webb was distracted by the shouts of his friends from outside.

Webb had earlier approached the teenager and his friends as they kicked a football about in the park.

He told them he was setting up a new team which would offer them the chance to play more regularly in games.

The victim, who decided to report the attack decades later after seeing coverage of abuse at professional clubs, told the trial: "He’d just hang around with us. Really odd now, but back then we never thought anything of it.

"I don’t think he had any knowledge of football whatsoever. He probably knew the ball was round.”

Webb did not appear in court for Monday's hearing.