A predatory paedophile who changed his name to Michael Jackson has been jailed indefinitely for the ‘truly horrific’ abduction and sexual assault of a 10-year-old boy.
Jackson, whose birth name is Albert English, tied-up and threatened to kill his victim during a three-hour ordeal at a flat in Oldbury, West Midlands.
Judge Martin Walsh described the attack as “the stuff of every parent’s nightmare” adding it was likely to be “very many years, if ever” before Jackson was judged to be safe to be freed from prison.
Wolverhampton Crown Court heard that 50-year-old Jackson gagged and trussed up the victim with duct tape and a rope, placed a craft knife near him, and warned him his father would be murdered.
The youngster, who was adducted in an isolated alleyway last November, only managed to escape from Jackson's flat in Bristnall Hall Road, Oldbury, after kicking open an airing cupboard door and raising the alarm at a window.
The paedophile, who was jailed in 1983 for the knife-point kidnap and indecent assault of a teenage girl, showed no emotion as the judge told him: “The facts of this case are truly horrific and are the stuff of every parent's nightmare.
”I am satisified that had (the 10-year-old boy) not escaped, he would have been subjected to further serious sexual abuse or worse.
“He was, fortuitously, able to escape from the cupboard. When he entered the bedroom, he saw a knife, pliers and a hammer - articles he believed would be used to kill him.
”It is simply impossible to imagine the sheer terror experienced by that young child as a result of your actions.“
The judge added: ”I am satisfied that you pose a significant risk of serious harm to children and that an indeterminate sentence is necessary for the protection of the public.“
Imposing the seven-year minimum term, the judge told Jackson: ”I want to make it absolutely clear to you and the public that this does not mean that you will be released after serving this term.
“You will only be released once the Parole Board are satisfied that you no longer pose a significant risk of serious harm to children.”
Jackson pleaded guilty in May to charges of kidnap, sexual assault, false imprisonment and kidnap with intent to commit a sexual offence in relation to the boy's disappearance.
He also admitted the abduction of a 10-year-old girl who he photographed at his flat around a month before the offences against the boy.
Opening the facts of the case, Debi Gould, prosecuting, said the boy was found after Jackson left the flat, intending to construct an alibi and return later to abuse his victim.
Miss Gould told the court: “The defendant said to (the boy), 'Don't bother screaming or you are dead - it's time to die if you make a noise'.”
Jackson, who had clearly prepared for the attack in advance, put a pillow case over the boy's head and also told him he would never see his mother again.
Praising the boy for his courage and presence of mind in managing to alert a passer-by, Miss Gould said: “Nobody in this court can imagine the terror of such an experience for such a little boy.”
Jackson had decorated a window of his flat with Christmas foil and an image of an angel, the court heard.
During mitigation, defence counsel John Attwood said Jackson, who was unemployed and receiving disability benefits, had previously attempted suicide and received treatment under the Mental Health Act.
In the days after the boy's abduction, hundreds of people held demonstrations in the local area calling for action to protect children from paedophiles.
Commenting on the case, Detective Chief Inspector Gary Booth, who led the investigation, said: “To see Michael Jackson finally sentenced for these horrific and hugely distressing crimes provides great satisfaction to all concerned.
”In all my 28 years of police service I have never dealt with another case such as this, where a man has snatched an innocent child off the streets in broad daylight.
“The police investigation, coupled with the great help of the local community, meant that the boy was able to be found and brought back to safety fairly quickly but he had still suffered a hugely distressing ordeal.
”This incident had a massive impact on the child, a second victim who came forward shortly after, and the wider community who were hugely concerned about their own families and how such a distressing offence could be committed on their doorstep.“
In a statement issued by the West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, Senior Crown Prosecutor Emma Garnett said: ”I would like to take this opportunity of thanking the local community for their assistance in the search for the victim and pay tribute to the 10-year-old boy for his courage and bravery in managing to escape.
“This must have been a traumatic ordeal for him, his family and friends and we hope that today's sentence can bring this chapter to a close and they can now move on with their lives.”