Belfast Telegraph

We hope he rots in jail, say parents of two boys abused by paedophile Andrew Wright who joined police force

By VICTORIA O'HARA

The parents of two victims of a predatory paedophile have said they were left devastated by the man they befriended who then abused their children.

Ex-policeman Andrew William Wright (26) was yesterday jailed for four years and six months at Craigavon Court after pleading guilty to a string of abuse charges.

Originally from Moira, Co Down, the ex-scout leader is already serving an indefinite jail term after being convicted of more than 32 offences in England in 2011.

The couple, who met Wright when he was 16, believe their children were his first victims, and that there could be more.

The couple's two boys were indecently assaulted between 2003 and 2006, when Wright was aged between 16 and 19.

Their children were aged just eight and 11 when they met him.

The husband and wife, both 49, cannot be named for legal reasons, but said they want people to know how dangerous Wright is and that they hope he "rots" in jail.

"We trusted him. He befriended our son on the train to school," the father said. "He is predatory, a nasty piece of work – although you wouldn't think it when you met him. He is like the boy next door. You would not in a million years if you met him think for one second he was a paedophile.

"Nobody knows about this guy. If he comes home, people need to know who he is."

Wright's catalogue of abuse emerged in 2011 after he admitted to a total of 32 charges at Lincoln Crown Court in England. He was given an indefinite sentence to protect the public, with a minimum three years and 10 months.

Wright, who left Moira to study forensic science at Lincoln University when he was 18, was arrested in October 2009.

He had joined Lincolnshire Police in January that year but quit in December following his arrest.

Wright targeted children via the internet and in person.

During the trial it was reported he had gone on abusing children even after he was arrested.

It was also reported that Wright returned to Northern Ireland and committed further offences before being remanded in custody.

He posed as a girl online to persuade young boys to send him indecent photographs of themselves.

A Northern Ireland investigation into Wright was launched after the couple's younger son went to police in May 2011 and told them about the abuse. "We were just devastated," the mother said. "It was just a complete bombshell. It really wrecked us," she added.

She said seeing him face-to-face in court was "devastating".

"I found it horrendous that he was standing there and he had abused my two boys when they were children," she said.

"And every time I look at those photographs of my boys at that age, I'm destroyed.

"All those memories we had of our two wee happy boys running around down the fields and every time I see him it is spoiled.

"I can't remember those times as happy times.

"We have our house on the market because he abused the boys here."

Her husband added: "We just want to encourage any other possible victims to come forward but more importantly protect other children from becoming future victims. He is a dangerous man."

2003: A 16-year-old Andrew William Wright befriends the family of two young boys in Moira.

2006: He leaves for university in England to study forensic science but drops out.

2009: In January he joins Lincolnshire Police, but is arrested in October. He resigns in December. An 18-month police investigation reveals he targeted 200 boys over the internet.

2011: He is jailed indefinitely in Lincoln Crown Court

2013: Wright appears at Craigavon Court and is convicted of sexual assault on two boys between 2003 and 2006.

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