Former Suffolk social worker Jonathan Button from Southwold given 17-year sentence for child sex abuse

Jonathan Button. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

Jonathan Button. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

A former social worker who groomed two children he went on to abuse has been given a 17 year extended sentence by a judge, who said he posed a 'significant' risk.

Jonathan Button, 62, formerly of Hotson Road, Southwold, admitted nine sexual offences involving a young boy and girl and also breaching his sex offender's notification order by not telling police where he was living.

Norwich Crown Court heard the offences dated back to 1999 with abuse starting on one of the victims when they were only eight, but it was only years later the victims found the courage to come forward..

Stephen Spence, prosecuting, said one victim in an impact statement said they had 'bottled up' what had happened and Mr Spence said both commented that they did not come forward at the time as they did not think they would be believed.

The court heard that Button had previous convictions for possessing indecent images of children and failing to comply with his sex offender's notification order.


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Recorder John Gallagher imposed a 17 year extended sentence made up of a 12 year jail sentence and five years on extended licence.

Recorder Gallagher said Button was 'manipulative' and had groomed the children by offering them treats.

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'You abused them for your own perverted and deviant sexual pleasure.'

He said both victims had a huge problem admitting what happened and classically thought they might not be believed.

'You have had a serious effect on the lives of these children stealing from them in their childhood their innocence and it continues to affect them and their lives to this very day.'

He said Button was a man who ignored court orders in the past and added: 'I have no doubt you pose a significant risk.'

However he said Button deserved credit for his guilty pleas.

Recorder Gallagher said he hoped the sentencing would help the victims have some closure.

Stephen Dyble, for Button, said he deserved credit for his guilty pleas as it had spared the victims having to come to court to give evidence.

Button is already on the sex offender's register for life.

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