Sex offender denied the chance to appeal life sentence

The case is being heard at the Old Bailey (Photo: Isabel Infantes)

The case is being heard at the Old Bailey (Photo: Isabel Infantes) - Credit: Archant

A sex offender jailed for life more than a decade ago for a series of attacks on vulnerable young boys has failed in a belated bid to clear his name.

John Joseph Croad, now 69, lured his young victims by offering them rides on his motorbike.

He was jailed for life at the Old Bailey back in November 2002 after he was convicted of four rapes, indecency with a child and indecent assault.

Croad, of Lowen Road, Rainham, took some of his victims on holiday, also plying them with drink and cannabis.

But he was brought to justice after a 17-year-old came forward.

On Thursday London’s Appeal Court denied him permission to appeal his conviction.

Croad had argued that additional evidence – statements not used at his trial – should have led to his exoneration.

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But Mr Justice Foskett, sitting with Lady Justice Macur and Mr Justice Goss, said his challenge was unarguable.

The judge said that, even 13 years ago, Croad’s legal team had advised him “not to deploy these statements” in his defence.

“We can see no basis on which an appeal to this court could successfully be maintained”, the judge concluded.