Paedophile extradited and jailed

A PAEDOPHILE who had to be extradited from Ireland to face justice has been jailed for eight years.

Michael Thomas Hunt, 42, formerly of Cornholme, Todmorden, admitted five offences of indecently assaulting two boys and five of gross indecency with a child.

Judge Robert Bartfield told Hunt: "You have done real damage to these boys."

He said the offences were at the top end of the scale.

The systematic abuse of the youngsters began in 2000, when one was 11 and the other 10, a court heard.

Ian Howard, prosecuting, said Hunt assaulted the boys when they were in the bath.

He said: "The abuse continued until February 2002 when the defendant left Todmorden." The offences came to light in 2003, when the boys confided in a relative.

Hunt was tracked to Ireland and arrested in 2005.

"He spoke of the activity in the bath but put an innocent perspective on what took place," said Mr Howard.

Naked photographs of Hunt were seized.

Bradford Crown Court heard that Hunt, of no fixed address, developed an obsession after he was sexually abused as a child.

James Ward, for Hunt, said by molesting the boys, who had previously been abused by someone else, Hunt believed he was helping them.

Mr Ward said: "That is his motivation, bizarre as it may sound."

Judge Bartfield told Hunt: "Dressing it up with a lot of psychological claptrap does not seem to help very much.

"I regard you as an on-going danger to young boys."

He said the longer Hunt was kept from the public, the better.

He was put on the Sex Offenders' Register and banned for life from unsupervised contact with children.