On Thursday 10 August, Jason Tasker of Snydale Road, Normanton, Wakefield, was sentenced for sexually abusing a 5-year-old boy in 1985 and 1986.
Tasker was found guilty of Indecent Assault on a Man, contrary to section 15 of the Sexual Offences Act 1956, and 2 counts of Indecency with a Child, contrary to section 1 of the Indecency with Children Act 1960. At the time of the crimes, Tasker was employed as a babysitter in Altofts Wakefield, where he groomed and abused the young victim.
The initial police investigation into the matter resulted in no further action being taken, a request for a review under the Victims Right to Review again resulted in no further action. Unrelenting in the pursuit of justice, the victim sought the assistance of Edmonds Marshall McMahon, who investigated and obtained evidence the police had not pursued. EMM began a private prosecution which resulted in the Crown Prosecution Service (“CPS”) taking the matter over and proceeding to trial given the nature of the offending.
Following the conviction, Andrew Marshall commented. “This has been a tireless pursuit of justice, and I commend the victim, his friends, and my colleagues for their steadfast and diligent work which was carried out to protect other children that this convicted perpetrator could have been in contact with.”
Years of hard work, bravery from the victim, and support from the victim’s friends and family led to a jury unanimously convicting Tasker in Leeds Crown Court of all offences. He has been sentenced and will remain on the sex offenders register for at least 5 years.
The victim’s pursuit of justice was further fuelled by the discovery that Tasker was a coach for a local rugby team, Normanton Knights, where he was coaching the under 9’s rugby league side.
Throughout the trial, Tasker vehemently denied all counts but offered little defence, only to claim that the victim had identified the wrong person. He provided no character witnesses.
The family of the victim has expressed their profound gratitude to His Honour Judge Mairs, their support network, solicitors, and barrister, Julian Jones. They hope that the conviction and sentence ensures that the perpetrator will never inflict such a heinous act on any other children.
The case underscores the importance of persistence in seeking justice, even when faced with initial setbacks, and highlights the vital role played by private prosecutions. It is believed this may be a landmark case of an individual successfully bringing a private prosecution for historical sexual abuse which the state acknowledged ought to be prosecuted and indeed took over the conduct to conclude to trial.
The matter was conducted by Andrew Marshall and Fani Gamon