Newsagent who abused paperboys is jailed
A Chippenham newsagent who abused young boys, including the paper boys who worked for him, has been jailed for eight years, as police said there could be more victims suffering in silence.
James Palmer admitted a string of indecent assaults on boys aged between ten and 15 over a seven-year period from 1998 to 2005.
Police said the 47-year-old, who is from Chippenham but gave the court a no-fixed abode address, had ‘abused his position of trust’ as the proprietor of a local newsagents in the Wiltshire town and as a close family friend to other victims.
“He systematically abused the boys by befriending them and buying them gifts and giving them money,” explained DC Julia Dickson, from Melksham CID. “The abuse took place at various locations in Chippenham, including Palmer’s home address and the newsagents he used to run.”
The offences only came to light in 2011 after a member of the public contacted Wiltshire Police on behalf of two of the victims, police said.
“This sentence reflects the seriousness of these offences and the impact they have had on Palmer’s victims,” added DC Dickson. “Palmer preyed on his young victims by befriending them and making them think nothing was wrong with what he was doing.
“He held a position of trust by running a local newsagents and employing at least one of the victims to work there. Although the incidents are historic, they still have a real impact on all of the victims. Wiltshire Police would like to thank each of the victims for their bravery in coming forward and recounting what is obviously a very distressing and traumatic time of their lives.
“We are also not ruling out the possibility there are more victims out there and I would like to reassure them that all information passed on to Wiltshire Police will be treated in the strictest confidence and will be followed up,” she added.