A dangerous sexual predator who targeted and abused vulnerable young boys has been jailed.

Gary Battison, 24, of no fixed address, appeared at Southend Crown Court on Wednesday, July 27, after being charged with multiple sexual offences which took place within a seven-year period.

Essex Police's child abuse investigation team began a complex investigation into Battison following his initial arrest in June 2019.

A victim who was under the age of 13 had disclosed being sexually assaulted by Battison.

After being released under investigation for the initial offence, Battison was further arrested for similar offences against a different victim, which had taken place in 2012.

Read more >>> Policeman’s spine fractured after he is hit by drug-driver after high speed chase

He was swiftly charged and remanded into custody.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Daniella Rose said: “Battison has proven himself to be a dangerous sexual predator who would target vulnerable young boys, who were unknown to each other.

“This result is all down to the victim’s bravery, who found the strength to come to court, give evidence which has ensured Battison’s conviction.

“With all sexual offence investigations, our victims are the priority. Essex Police work hard to ensure that they not only get justice but receive the appropriate support throughout the investigation process.

“We implemented positive new procedures, recently put in place to protect children and young persons, whereby their cross examination is pre-recorded before trial.

“I hope the result allows the victims to come to terms with what has happened, realise that they are survivors and ultimately enable them to move forward.”

Following his trial, Battison was found guilty of rape of a boy under 13, two counts of inciting a boy under 13 to engage in sexual activity and two counts of assaulting a boy under 13 by touching.

He was sentenced to 13 years in prison and served with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and indefinite restraining orders.