Police issue plea as vile Chippenham sex pest is jailed

This Is Wiltshire: James Palmer James Palmer

Police believe more victims of predatory paedophile James Palmer could still be out there.

The 47-year-old, who ran a newsagents in Chippenham, was jailed for eight years and put on an extended licence for a further four years on Thursday after admitting a string of sex assaults on young boys.

Swindon Crown Court was told Palmer was running a news-agents in Chippenham in 2003 when he began to abuse a 13-year-old boy, often in his work van.

Stephen Dent, prosecuting, said Palmer showered the lad with presents and cash.

“These gifts were quite a draw to the boy. By this time the abuse happened more and more frequently, about three times a week,” he said.

During the three-year period the abuse took place, the victim estimated he was given £8,000 by Palmer – much of which he spent on drugs as his life fell apart.

In the five years leading up to the offending, Palmer also abused three other boys who he knew through family friends.

He targeted two of them from the age of 13 to 15 years, abusing them many times a week over a three-year period. The third lad was molested once when he was a ten-year-old around the turn of the millennium.

Palmer, formerly of Langley Burrell and Chippenham, pleaded guilty to 21 counts of indecent assault and one of sexual activity with a child.

Palmer was jailed for 18 months last year after admitting conning pensioners who had organised a coach holiday. He also received seven-and-a-half years from a German court in 1995 after being convicted of manslaughter.

Detective Constable Julia Dickson from Melksham CID said: “This sentence reflects the seriousness of these offences and the impact they have had on Palmer’s victims.

“Palmer preyed on his young victims by befriending them and making them think nothing was wrong with what he was doing.

“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.”

Anyone wishing to report an incident should call 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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