A “manipulative” child groomer from Houghton Regis who preyed upon vulnerable boys has been jailed for nearly 20 years.
Jake Prescott, 20, was found guilty of 21 sex offences including rape and child grooming after a trial at Luton Crown Court last month.
Today at the court, Judge Barbara Mensah sentenced him to 19 years and nine months in jail, telling him: “What the evidence shows is that you are scheming, manipulative and sex-obsessed, and you are a dangerous predator to those who are more vulnerable than yourself.”
The court heard that Prescott, of Brentwood Close, began offending when he was around 14 or 15, and inappropriately touched a younger child.
Despite firm warnings given to him by adults, Prescott’s offending gradually progressed over time and the majority of his offences took place after he was 18. He befriended four of the youngsters, taking them on outings and buying them gifts before sexually assaulting them.
Of the six victims, his last two were among the youngest and suffered serious abuse.
The judge told Prescott he was clearly an excellent communicator, able to take advantage of his victims and their families.
She said: “You were expert in being able to weedle yourself into their situations, hoodwinking them so that they trusted you...”
Prescott’s defence told the court that he had “not come to terms with” or “acknowledged” his own behaviour, was on anti-depressants and had been self-harming in recent months.
Besides the sentence, Prescott was placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life and made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
Detective Constable Gareth Suffling, who investigated the case, said: “Prescott specifically set out to target vulnerable boys, taking advantage of their trust in him by inflicting vile sexual abuse on them.
“There is no doubt that Prescott groomed his victims by buying them gifts, taking them on outings and gaining their trust – then callously taking advantage of them in the worst possible way.
“I hope this sentence shows that Bedfordshire Police does not tolerate any sexual abuse.
“I’d like to praise the victims for the bravery they showed in coming forward, ensuring that justice is done and preventing Prescott from inflicting his abhorrent abuse on anyone else.”
Below, three of the victim’s describe their ordeal at the hand of Prescott.
“I first met Jake Prescott in 2015. Sometimes I used to look up to him and sometimes I thought of him as a role model.
“After he assaulted me I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to explain it to others. I thought people would judge me.
“He made me feel horrible as I couldn’t open up and tell anybody. It was like I was alone with nobody to go to. Even now I question myself, why didn’t I report him after the first assault, the second, the third. I guess he put me in a position where I felt completely alone.
“Now I feel good that I finally managed to tell someone what had happened. I feel that I’ve saved my life and potentially saved others from being in the same position as I was.”
“I’m not going to say I’m an angel or I’m perfect, I know I’m not, no one is. But I know I didn’t deserve what Jake Prescott did to me. I have had a difficult start to my life and it was like he played on this and took advantage of my situation.
“Although I don’t like to, I sometimes think back to when Jake Prescott raped me.
“It’s so difficult to describe what I went through.
“After he had raped me twice it was like I was no longer myself and I didn’t feel right when I was hanging around with other people.
“I kind of thought that if Jake Prescott, who was someone I trusted, could do this to me, I thought other people I trusted might do the same.”
“Looking back I feel Jake Prescott took advantage of me and the position I was in. I think he picked on me because I was young. I actually used to look up to him as a role model.
“When he touched me I felt so alone. I felt that I couldn’t tell anyone what had happened to me. I thought that because I was a kid and he was an adult they would believe him. I just felt alone and I think he knew that.”