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Dagenham rapist who routinely abused teenage boy jailed for 16 years

PUBLISHED: 19:06 20 November 2017 | UPDATED: 19:21 20 November 2017

Stephen Webb Picture: Met Police.

Stephen Webb Picture: Met Police.

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A “surrogate father” who raped and sexually abused a teenage boy has been jailed for 16 years.

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard how Stephen Webb, 57, groomed his 14-year-old victim and routinely sexually assaulted the boy at his home in Weston Green, Dagenham.

Webb told the victim, who had recently come out as gay, that he would look after him after meeting him and a 16-year-old friend through an internet chatroom.

He picked up the pair from Elm Park station and drove them back to his house, where the 14-year-old confided in him about how coming out had affected his home life.

Webb told him he would look after him and allowed the victim to stay at his house. He stayed overnight on several occasions, sleeping on Webb’s sofa, in 1999 and 2000.

But Webb soon started telling the boy to sit on his lap, where he kissed and sexually assaulted him, despite him trying to pull away. He would also get the victim to watch pornography with him, including home-made videos involving children that were filmed in his house.

One evening, Webb told the boy to sleep in his bedroom upstairs. The victim did not want to upset Webb, who he saw as his “knight in shining armour”, so he agreed. From that point on he slept in Webb’s bed, where he was sexually assaulted.

The court heard how on one occasion, Webb pinned the victim down and raped him.

He confided in a friend staying in the spare room but was too traumatised to report the abuse until fourteen years later in August 2014.

Webb, who was jailed today, was charged in December last year and following a trial, was found guilty of one count of rape of a child under 16 and four counts of indecent sexual assault in June. He was acquitted of a further count of rape of a child under 16.

He had pleaded guilty to three counts of making an indecent video of a child.

Det Con Charlotte Carter said: “The victim saw Webb as a surrogate father figure and someone he could confide in about being gay. Webb abused this position of trust to exploit a vulnerable teenager for his own satisfaction. Webb has failed to show any remorse for his despicable actions throughout.

“I would like to pay tribute to the victim who had the courage to report this distressing crime to police, and attend court to give evidence against Webb.”

Det Insp Keith Ward added: “This conviction is another example of how the passage of time should not be perceived as a barrier to tackling offenders.

“We remain committed to giving victims the chance to come forward and tell us what they have endured so that we can help find them justice.”

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