A paedophile was left free to abuse boys for almost three decades after police missed two opportunities to stop him, a court heard.
Bob Nunn, 65, who posed as a respectable businessman while he preyed on two teenagers, has now been jailed for 12 years after he pleaded guilty to the sex crimes.
But one of his victims bitterly said the failure of Kent Police to stop him years ago robbed him of his childhood.
Canterbury Crown Court heard how the force missed two major chances to arrest Nunn who ran a plumbing supplies firm.
In 1988 a police officer caught Nunn pleasuring himself in his van while he “heavily petted” a teenage boy but failed to even report the offence.
Nunn continued to abuse the same boy for a year before moving onto his second victim, James Bailey who has bravely waived his anonymity.
The abuse of James began in 1988 when he was 14 and Nunn caught him in bed with a teenage girl.
James lived in fear that Nunn would tell his strict father and the pervert manipulated that to abuse him for seven years.
Nunn, who was jailed for firebombing a business rival in 1983, who also threatened to do the same to James’ home if he said anything.
He took James to his home, office and even onto his own PLANE to abuse him.
James suffered years of drugs and depression until he eventually told his mum what had happened to him as a teen.
He went to police in 2004 but after a week of giving statements – and a raid of Nunn’s home – officers ruled there was not enough evidence to charge the fiend.
It was not until 2012, when the first boy reported his abuse, that James was believed and Nunn was charged.
James, now 40, said: “I can’t get my head around how a system that’s supposed to protect you can do that.
“If he’d been properly dealt from the very start I might not have had to go through what I did for so long. I might have still had a childhood.”
The first victim, who is his 40s, contacted the police after seeing the documentary on Jimmy Savile.
He said: “I don’t hold any grudges against the police.
“Society was a very different place back then. There was widespread serious child abuse and a blind eye was turned to it. Just look at Jimmy Savile.
He added: “I always struggled to believe it wasn’t my fault.
“Robert Nunn was very charming and everyone was in awe of him. I thought the world of him.
“I’ve not derived any pleasure from seeing him sentenced.
“All I wanted was an apology from him.”
Nunn, from Herne Bay, Kent, was jailed at Canterbury Crown Court on Friday (26/9).
Judge Heather Norton told him: “The sentence – no matter how long – will never make up for what you did to these boys.”
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Pritchard said: “The sexual abuse of children is a particularly abhorrent crime and the sentence imposed in this case reflects the severity of the crimes committed by Nunn.
“This case is a reflection of how the nature of policing has changed over the decades and highlights how we will thoroughly investigate historic offences when new evidence comes to light.
“In the current case the investigating officer has managed to identify previous reports, piece them together and offer a compelling case to the court.
“The victims in this case must be commended for their bravery in coming forward and I hope that the significant custodial sentence imposed will allow them some closure and help them move forward with their lives.
“Kent Police will do everything possible, even if the crimes were many years ago, to bring offenders before the courts and stop them committing these crimes against other children.”