‘Dark, sinister and depraved’ Cornish bard jailed for child sex abuse

Published January 21, 2015 by JS2

Leslie Merton 120744.jpg-pwrt2

A Cornish bard from Redruth is facing years in prison after being found guilty of child sex abuse.

Les Merton, a 70-year-old from Redruth has been jailed for 13 years after being found guilty of a raft of offences against girls as young as seven.

The offences happened between 1983 and 2004, with Merton guilty of 16 indecent assault and four counts of indecency with a child.

Called a paedophile with a “dark, sinister and depraved side” to his personality by Judge Christopher Clark, Merton, was also made the subject of a sexual offences order.

In 2005 Merton accepted a police caution for entering his credit card details into a website hosting indecent images of children, but had claimed that this was a mistake which happened whilst carrying out research into the Russian mystic, Rasputin.

In 2002 he founded Poetry Cornwall / Bardhonyaeth Kernow. In the same year his poem “Gud News” won the Cornish Gorsedd, and in 2004 he was made a bard of that organisation for his services to Cornish literature

His guide to the Cornish dialect entitled Oall Rite Me Ansum?: a salute to Cornish Dialect, was published in 2003

This is West Cornwall

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