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The Abuser

JIM wants to be castrated. He?s a convicted paedophile who has served 18 months of a three year sentence for two counts of indecent assault and one of gross indecency. The victims were his step granddaughters.

Jim has been released from jail on a probation licence. He is having treatment but believes chemical castration may be the only way to stop other children becoming his victims.

? I'm serious when I say I'll volunteer for castration. I don't deserve or want anyone's sympathy

?I?m on the police register now. I?m on that register for 10 years. I?ve made sure that I tell people what I?ve done - my vicar, my doctor, anyone I have prolonged contact with.

?But I?m serious when I say I?ll volunteer for castration. I don?t deserve or want anyone?s sympathy. I just want to know how I feel,? he says.

Jim is a short, stocky, middle-aged man, resting frequently on a black walking stick. Long, grey hair hangs down over his collar, onto a brown leather jacket. His voice is thickened with a north-western accent. The hands tremble and the fingers clasp each other nervously, stained from a lifetime?s addiction to nicotine.

Jim is full of remorse for what he did, and more frequently for himself. He claims his childhood was messed up, tells how his dad drank, how he left school at 14 with no qualifications and consigned himself to a life of meaningless jobs.

?Right afterwards I was a nervous wreck, I thought 'what have I done? If somebody says something I'm for it. But there were lots of other feelings as well.? ? JIM

He ended up in Vickers ship building yard and became an industrial ambulanceman, his best job, before being sacked. At the same time, Jim didn?t have a proper girlfriend - apart from the girl living next door - until he was 24 and he was still a virgin when he met his first wife.

He?s now been married and divorced three times, and has had a lifetime of drifting from job to job, the dole, through depressions, a conversion to Christianity, losing his two children and watching a girlfriend die from a drugs overdose right in front of him. He even tried to commit suicide himself once, taking an overdose. His second wife saved him.

The abuse began when he met his third wife via a lonely hearts column. He claims he wasn?t looking for a family with young children. ?Anybody would have done,? he said. ?I just wanted somebody. As it happened, though, this one did have two teenage daughters - one had got a little boy of five months old and one was pregnant.?

His wife was an ex-Hells Angel. She was also a former abuse victim herself. Both her teenage daughters had children. Jim moved in with them. Six months later they were married. ?She told me she wanted someone who could change her, stabilise her. Her life until then was just heavy rock and fellas,? he said.

Still, his wife would at times go on drinking binges, or go missing, leaving him at home with the kids. The house became crowded, with boyfriends and ex-boyfriends moving in and out of the spare room with one or other of the teenage daughters.

After six years, the relationship split. But he had always got on well with the children who called him ?Grandad Jim?.

"You say you're sorry, but what else can you do? There's nothing you can do about it." ? JIM

?They thought more of me than their parents or any other member of the family, so consequently I saw a lot of them and I did everything for them as well. I was really close to them,? he said.

The abuse for which Jim was eventually convicted occured when he went to visit his step daughters, who had moved into new homes after he split from his wife. ?I can?t offer any excuse for it,? he makes clear before continuing.

He visited the eldest daughter for Christmas one year. He claims he was led on by her six-year-old daughter after he returned home drunk one night - an abdication of responsibility which therapists say is typical of many convicted paedophiles.

Jim committed acts of gross indecency against her in a bathroom.

?Right afterwards I was a nervous wreck, I thought ?what have I done? If somebody says something ?I?m for it?. But there were lots of other feelings as well,? he said.

He admits he was excited. He was a Christian at the time, ?something else to be ashamed of as well.? He returned again for another visit. This time he abused one of the girls at bath time but when she went downstairs she innocently revealed some of what he had done to her mother.

?I tried to deny it but they got the child support and it all came out,? he said.

Jim?s manner is methodical. He admits he fantasised about the girls. He thinks even to this day that they were the only ones who respected him, loved him, and who didn?t judge him. With adults he says he was a doormat. ?But the kids didn?t and I got closer and closer to the kids.?

Of course there was always a fight between the logical part of his mind and his desires. He admits the selfish side won. ?You don?t see anything except what you?re doing. If you knew how you were hurting them, you wouldn?t do the offence.?

Two months after committing the assault Jim was arrested, whilst living with another woman in another part of the country.

He denied everything. ?I just didn?t want to go to jail - I was scared,? he said.

However, he eventually pleaded guilty as the kids were going to be called to court to give evidence. He got three years and lived under Rule 43, whereby sex offenders and those in personal danger are segregated from other offenders. Jim got no treatment while inside. He says it was a breeding ground for paedophiles.

Coming out in August 1995, Jim went onto his current Probation Service treatment programme. ?I?ve come to terms with who I am and I?m not going to do it again. I would sooner kill myself than let it happen again,? he said.

As part of his treatment, he?s been made to look at how his actions affected his victims, which has been the hardest thing he?s had to face. He knows that what he?s done might have affected them for the rest of their lives. ?You say you?re sorry, but what else can you do? There?s nothing you can do about it.?

He?s lost friends and family members as a result of his convictions. Two brothers have been assaulted because of it. His elderly mum still sticks by him, although she told him she wished he was dead when she first heard what he had done.

These articles were originally published in MSN NEWS

Other stories in this series:

Sex abuse: the survivor

The lasting nightmare of child abuse. Peter Saunders tells how the scars last for a lifetime.

Sex abuse: the probation officer

How to shatter the sex offending cycle. Donald Finlater helps sex offenders survive back in the community.

Sex abuse: the police

Inside Scotland Yard?s Paedophilia Unit. We?re dealing with very serious crimes warns DCI Reynolds.

Sex abuse: the mother

Whirlwind romance led to horror of child abuse. He was everything my first husband wasn?t.

Sex abuse: the legal expert

The law is failing the victims of child abuse. Barbara Joel-Essam is trying to change the culture around sex offence.

Sex abuse: the investigator

The man who catches child abusers. Abusing children is the main focus of some people?s lives.

Sex abuse: the expert

?You can buy a child for a packet of crisps?. Grim warning from Britain?s top sex crime consultant.

Sex abuse: the abuser

Abuser who claims six-year-old led him on. Convicted paedophile hasn?t yet taken full responsibility for his crimes.

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