A pensioner has been jailed after raping an 11-year-old boy in the public toilets of a Manchester shopping centre.
John Richard Ferrier, 69, was given a life sentence for the attack at the Arndale Centre in central Manchester.
Ferrier was on bail after being accused of raping another child when he carried out the crime. He will serve a minimum of eight years for his crime, and could die behind bars.
Prosecutors told Manchester Crown Court that Ferrier had approach the schoolboy in the shopping centre toilets on 18 October last year.
He had initially tried to convince the boy to enter the cubicle on his own accord. After the child refused, the rapist dragged him inside and carried out the attack.
Witnesses who overheard the assault raced to find security guards, who detained Ferrier until police arrived half an hour later.
The victim initially fled the scene after the attack, but was tracked down by police based on a description of his school uniform. The boy eventually told officers what had happened.
Ferrier is also serving a 21-year prison sentence for the attack he was on bail for at the time of the rape at the shopping centre.
The victim’s mother told local newspaper the Manchester Evening News that her son had been walking home from school.
"I felt guilty because I normally picked him up but hadn't been able to because I had been ill,” she said.
"When the attack happened he was a lot quieter and we suspected something was wrong but had no idea about the attack until the police came. He has been doing a lot better and we are working through it as a family."
Police said they believe the rapist may had followed the victim from nearby Piccadilly Gardens into the shopping centre.
Det Con Simon France, from Great Manchester Police’s Serious Sexual Offences Unit, said: "He is a young boy who has had a terrifying ordeal. With his support we have been able to bring Ferrier before the courts. I would also like to thank members of the public and the staff at Manchester Arndale."Reuse content