School caretaker who preyed on young girls jailed for eight years

A JUDGE jailed a man for eight years yesterday for a “campaign” of sexual abuse on young girls, some while he was working as a school caretaker.

Sentencing Gary Brook at Leeds Crown Court, Judge Kerry Macgill told him: “You are a predatory paedophile who has taken advantage of these girls on numerous occasions for your own sexual gratification, your own sordid ends.”

He said he had read moving victim impact statements from three of Brook’s six victims. “It is very difficult for a man like me to understand the upset and grief they have been caused in their lives, one driven to self harm herself. It isn’t only the act of the sexual abuse from which they suffer it is the far reaching impact that stretches across their adult lives.”

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He told Brook he hoped he would face up to what he had done during his time in prison. “The reality is you have disgracefully abused these children and you should recognise it.”

Brook, 47, recently of no fixed address admitted seven charges of indecency with a child, four of causing a child to engage in sexual activity and one of sexual assault. He was ordered to register as a sex offender for life and barred from working with children.

Matthew Bean, prosecuting, told the court between 2001 and 2006 Brook abused five girls aged between six to 11 at various places ranging from his then home in Ossett, to his car and a holiday caravan by enticing them with what he called his “magic box”.

This was a box, sometimes holding toys which he would put over his lap and then encourage the children to put their hands in the box and masturbate him in return for sweets and money. It was only later when they grew older they realised what was happening in the game he played with them.

One youngster remembered him saying not to tell anybody and threatening to kill her if she spoke out.

During that period in 2004 he got a job as a caretaker at a school in Wakefield and moved to a bungalow in the grounds where he continued his abuse against some of the girls, once even using the staff room in the school at a weekend, said Mr Bean.

In December 2005 police received some allegations against him and the following year he was arrested and questioned but denied any offences.

The matter was not then taken further, although he lost his job at the school..

However in October 2009 police received a report about another girl being at his home in Ossett and discovered a 12-year-old was present. Inquiries revealed Brook had sexually assaulted her and got her to touch him on occasions telling her he would kill her if she spoke out.

As a result, the earlier investigation was reopened.

Nick Dry, for Brook, said he recognised he had an illness, a sickness and needed treatment.

After the case DCI Phill Wright, said: “Gary Brook is a dangerous sexual predator who has sexually exploited, groomed and abused children. Clearly it was extremely difficult for his victims to tell us about this and relive their experiences but it is their bravery that has brought him to justice.”

He said officers, particularly Pc Helen Priestley from Wakefield North West Neighbourhood Policing Team had worked tirelessly with the victims to get the necessary evidence. “Child abusers who exploit children are devious, but we are determined to sustain the pressure and bring these wicked individuals to book.”