A BAR manager who raped a young boy has been jailed for two years after a judge said his sentencing powers were limited by guidelines.

Preston Crown Court heard how Thomas Robert Peel admitted performing a sex act on the boy, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, when he was himself a teenager.

The 35-year-old always denied that he made the boy perform sex acts on him and twice raped him but those assertions were rejected by a jury last month

Peel’s victim told the court during the trial that memories of being raped were still seared into his brain.

Peel, of Collins Street, Barnoldswick, pleaded guilty to one count of inciting a boy under the age of 14 to commit an act of gross indecency and was found guilty of a further three.

Defending, David Temkin said his client, who had no previous convictions, had been working as a bar manager in Tenerife until he had to return back to the UK to be sentenced.

Mr Temkin said when Peel’s offending came to light his wife immediately ended their relationship and he now has limited contact with his son.

The court was also told that Peel attempted suicide by jumping from a multi-storey car park when police launched an investigation into his offending, although Mr Temkin said his client no longer wished to take his own life.

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Judge David Potter said he was certain that Peel’s offending has had a profound impact on his victim but was limited in his sentencing powers to the maximum term that was available at the time the offences were committed.

Judge Potter said the offence that Peel had pleaded guilty to would be charged in the present day as causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity and have a maximum sentence.

Two of the other offences would be charged in the present day as rape of a child under 13 and have a starting point of eight years’ custody, with a maximum sentence of 13 years.

For the offence he admitted Peel was sentenced to six months’ jail, plus nine months for a second offence which equated to causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, and for the two offences which would presently be charged as rape of a child under 13 he was given two years.

All those sentences are to be served concurrently, making a total custodial sentence of two years.

The former bar manager was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.