By Don Frame
A FAMILY man who groomed a young girl for sex by promising to whisk her away to a Greek island has been jailed for six years after being found guilty of three offences of indecent assault.
Father of two Clive Royales 49, a Saddleworth Morris Man from Springhead, showed no emotion as the jury foreman announced a majority verdict on each count at the end of a week-long trial at Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court last month.
Sentencing him, Judge Bernadette Baxter told him: “This was a grotesque breach of trust. It represented a selfish and wholly inappropriate relationship with her for your own sexual gratification.”
She told Royales, who will be on the sexual offenders register for life: “You have shown no remorse for your wrong doing at all.”
It was the third occasion on which former company boss Royales had faced a jury after the complainant in the case went to police 14 years after their two-year relationship had ended.
The jury in the first trial was discharged when the judge abandoned the trial for legal reasons, and the jury in a second trial last year was unable to reach verdicts.
The court had been told by Simon Blakebrough prosecuting, that the complainant, now a grown woman, had been just 12 or 13 years of age when the affair with Royales started.
She said the first time they had sex was on his office desk at his Saw Tech company premises in Oldham, and says they continued to have unprotected intercourse on a regular basis up to three times a week, until the relationship ended when Royales’ wife kicked him out of the family home.
Ironically, it was because she had learned of an affair he was having with another woman. She was only told of the affair with the girl shortly before she made a formal complaint to police in July 2014.
The complainant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said at the time she had been in love with him, and it was only years later she realised that in fact their affair had been abuse.
She said in a video interview with police: “It sounds so stupid now, but he said when I was 16 we would move to Greece and live on a boat.”
She told the jury that she and Royales frequently had Sunday morning sex at his marital home, while his wife and two children were out at church.
She said they also had sex in VW Golf car in Oldham’s Alexandra Park after he picked her up from school at lunchtimes.
She said Royales, whose number she had listed under the name Mr Floppy, had warned her of the dangers of ever telling anyone about their affair at the time.
A key witness in the trial, David Curtis, who had been a close friend of Royales, told the court he had suspected what had been going on at the time, but did nothing.
Mr Curtis who asked Royales to be best man at his wedding, said he decided to finally speak out after reading a court report of the second trial in local newspapers last year.
He said he had ‘agonised’ about his decision, but said he felt it the right thing to do.
The trial jury were told that because of more recent changes in the law, the Crown was unable to prosecute Royales for more serious historic sex offences.
A spokesperson for Saddleworth Morris Men said: “We are aware of the prosecution of Clive Royales who joined the side five years ago. The team is shocked and our thoughts are with those affected.
“As the offence was in no way related to his Morris dancing activities, we feel it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.”