July 24 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
A Norfolk paedophile promised a 14-year-old boy that he could join a special magic school to lure him into meeting, a court heard.
Michael Berkley-Matthews, 46, of Friars Meadow Weybred, Diss, had met the teenager on the internet, Norwich Crown Court was told.
He denied three charges of breaching a sexual offences prevention order (SOPO), meeting a child following sexual grooming and sexual activity with a child.
But a jury found him unanimously guilty of all three counts after around two hours of deliberation yesterday.
Judge Nicholas Coleman said Berkley-Matthews was due to be sentenced in six weeks, after reports were compiled into the dangers he may pose.
The court heard Berkley-Matthews had 53 previous convictions, including sexual offences, grooming, assaults, theft and driving while disqualified.
Earlier in the trial Claire Matthews, prosecuting, said that Berkley-Matthews knew the teenage victim had an interest in magic.
“It’s a lure,” she added. “It’s a topic in which he is interested and promises are made to get him into a magic group”.
She said Berkley-Matthews arranged to meet him in Diss and sexually assaulted him.
Berkley-Matthews has a number of previous convictions as a sex offender and has used a number of aliases changing his name about 25 times.
He is also on the sex offenders register and subject to a sexual offences prevention order, which meant he knew he should not be in contact with a young boy.
The boy had said that the sexual advance by Berkley-Matthews made him feel very insecure.