A predatory paedophile whose “truly horrific” abduction of a 10-year-old boy sparked mass street protests has been jailed indefinitely for public protection.
Michael Jackson tied up and repeatedly threatened to kill the terrified victim, who was held prisoner in a cupboard during a three-hour ordeal after being dragged into a flat in Oldbury, West Midlands.
Ordering Jackson, 50, to serve at least seven years before being eligible to apply for parole, Judge Martin Walsh described the kidnapping as “the stuff of every parent’s nightmare”.
Wolverhampton Crown Court heard that Jackson gagged and trussed up the victim with duct tape and a rope, placed a craft knife near him, and warned him his father would be murdered.
The youngster, who was abducted in an isolated alleyway last November, only managed to escape from Jackson’s flat in Oldbury after kicking open an airing cupboard door and raising the alarm at a window.
Passing sentence, Judge Walsh stressed that it was likely to be “very many years, if ever” before Jackson was judged to be safe to be freed from prison.
The paedophile, who was jailed in 1983 for the knifepoint kidnap and indecent assault of a teenage girl, showed no emotion as the judge told him: “It is simply impossible to imagine the sheer terror experienced by that young child as a result of your actions.”
The judge added: “I am satisfied that you pose a significant risk of serious harm to children and that an indeterminate sentence is necessary for the protection of the public.”
Imposing the seven-year minimum term, the judge told Jackson: “I want to make it absolutely clear to you and the public that this does not mean that you will be released after serving this term.
“You will only be released once the Parole Board are satisfied that you no longer pose a significant risk of serious harm to children.”
Jackson pleaded guilty in May to charges of kidnap, sexual assault, false imprisonment and kidnap with intent to commit a sexual offence in relation to the boy’s disappearance.
He also admitted the abduction of a 10-year-old girl he photographed at his flat around a month before the offences against the boy.
Opening the case, Debi Gould, prosecuting, said the boy was found after Jackson left the flat, intending to construct an alibi and return later to abuse his victim.
Jackson, who was originally called Albert English, had decorated a window of his flat with Christmas foil and an image of an angel, the court heard.
Defence counsel John Attwood said Jackson, who was unemployed and receiving disability benefits, had previously attempted suicide and received treatment under the Mental Health Act.