Lowestoft: Man to be sentenced to abuse

A SUFFOLK shopkeeper jailed for sexually assaulting five teenage boys will be sentenced next month after he admitted abusing another boy.

Anthony Francis, who owned two shops in Lowestoft, was jailed for three and a half years last year after being found guilty by a jury at Ipswich Crown Court of eight offences of indecent assault and two offences of sexual activity with a child. He had denied all the offences.

Francis, 53, was due to go on trial in September for sex offences relating to another boy but this will no longer be necessary after he entered guilty pleas to five offences of indecent assault on a male person, one offence of indecency with a child and two offences of attempted buggery. The offences took place between 1990-93 when the victim was aged 13 to 15.

Francis, who is due for release from his current prison sentence on September 6, will be sentenced for the latest offences the day before.

Jailing Francis last February, Judge David Goodin said Francis, of Yarmouth Road, Norwich, had sexually assaulted five teenagers aged between 13 and 16 over a 15-year period between 1992 and 2005.

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In addition to jailing Francis, who owned a shop in Maidstone Road, Lowestoft, between 1990-1995 before moving to premises in Norwich Road, Judge Goodin also ordered him to sign on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.

During the trial the witnesses claimed that Francis had sexually assaulted them in a basement office or in his private accommodation and had given them money afterwards to buy their silence.

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