‘Surrogate father’ convicted of rape after meeting boy, 14, at Elm Park station

Stephen Webb, 57, was today found guilty at Snaresbrook Crown Court of one count of rape of a child

Stephen Webb, 57, was today found guilty at Snaresbrook Crown Court of one count of rape of a child under 16 and four counts of indecent sexual assault after meeting the victim at Elm Park Underground station. Picture: Met Police. - Credit: Archant

A “surrogate father” who raped and sexually abused a teenage boy has been convicted.

Stephen Webb, 57, was today found guilty of raping a child under the age of 16 and of four counts of indecent sexual assault.

A jury at Snaresbrook Crown Court heard how Webb groomed the 14-year-old victim and routinely sexually assaulted him after meeting the boy and his 16-year-old friend through an internet chatroom.

Webb first met the two boys at Elm Park Underground station in the Broadway, Hornchurch, where he picked them up in his car and drove them back to his house in Dagenham.

The victim initially stayed on his sofa on a number of occasions in 1999 and 2000.

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

One evening, Webb told the victim 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 the victim slept in Webb’s bed, where he was sexually assaulted.

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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 was arrested a month later and charged on December 7, 2016.

Investigating officer 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. I hope that today’s conviction gives the victim a measure of comfort and closure.”

Webb was acquitted of a further count of rape of a child under 16. He had previously pleaded guilty to three counts of making an indecent video of a child and is due to be sentenced for all offences at a later date.