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Caving expert jailed decades after sex abuse of teenage boys in Yorkshire Dales

Brian Boardman, from Giggleswick, near Settle.
Brian Boardman, from Giggleswick, near Settle.

An 84-year-old cave rescue expert who sexually abused teenage boys at Yorkshire Dales walking spots decades ago has been jailed.

Brian Boardman, from Giggleswick, near Settle, was sentenced to three years in prison at Bradford Crown Court today, having previously pleaded guilty to four charges.

The offences relate to indecent assault and gross indecency against one boy at Yordas Cave near Ingleton between June 20, 1971 and September 1, 1971, and the same two offences against another boy at Giggleswick Scar and various other local locations between November 26, 1958 and November 25, 1960.

Boardman carried out the sexual assaults during his time with the Burnley Caving Club between 1958 and 1960 and the Cave Rescue Organisation in 1971.

DC Kirsty Graham, of North Yorkshire Police’s Non Recent Abuse Investigation Team, said: “Brian Boardman used his knowledge of caving to offer the young boys to go on trips during which he abused them.

“The earlier victim came forward in 2008 but, sadly, there was not enough evidence to prosecute at that time.

“Then subsequently, in 2017, a completely separate complaint was received from a different victim, a different time period and location at Yordas Cave, but the details of the abuse were startlingly similar.

“The original victim was re-contacted and both cases were taken to the Crown Prosecution Service and we were finally able to bring charges against the offender.”

DC Graham added: “The victims of Boardman’s offences have waited decades to receive justice. Both admit that the abuse they suffered as children has damaged them in later life.

“I thank them for their bravery in coming forward and I hope they will now finally be able to begin putting this terrible experience behind them.”