A Plymouth paedophile who abused up to 3,500 boys has died in prison.
William Goad, 65, from Plymouth died of natural causes last night at HMP Albany on the Isle of Wight.
Shopkeeper and market trader Goad was jailed for life in 2004 after being convicted of a 35-year campaign of sexual abuse.
He was convicted of 16 sex offences against boys he offered jobs to or invited to his home.
Predatory paedophile William Goad once boasted of beating his own record of abusing 142 boys in one year, according to police.
He preyed on vulnerable young boys and used various techniques to ‘groom’ them before sexually abusing and raping them.
And by threatening his victims of ‘being sorted’ with violence if ever they ever spoke of what had happened, he terrified them into keeping his sordid sex antics secret.
Police were alerted to his decades of abuse when one victim had the confidence to make a statement to police.
As word got round, dozens more victims stepped forward to reveal to police their horrific abuse at the hands of Goad.
Of those who came forward, all have felt suicidal, many have tried to take their own lives and some are no longer alive.
All have abused alcohol or drugs to block out feelings, suppress their memories and escape pain. All have been in trouble with the police.
Goad’s abuse of children spanned 30 years. His victims were aged between eight and 17. All are now adults.
Initial inquiries against Goad began in 1998 and involved scores of officers. It was hampered by Goad fleeing to Thailand in 1998 on a false passport, aware that police were on his tail.
But the investigation gathered momentum and Goad was arrested on June 4, 2003, for offences of rape, serious sexual assault and indecent assaults on boys between 1964 and 1994, following his return to Britain.
Detective Constable John Livingstonem drafted on to the case – codenamed Operation Emotion 2 – that time, said Goad was a ‘prolific, predatory paedophile who preyed on vulnerable and impressionable boys’.
He added: “Goad was a very shrewd and calculating individual who has been abusing young boys since the early 1960s.”
At the time of his conviction, Dc Shirley Thompson branded 60-year-old Goad an ‘arrogant, cruel and predatory individual who has expressed absolutely no remorse. The only thing he appears to regret is being captured’.
She added: “Goad sexually abuses and rapes children. He steals their childhood.
“This one paedophile is probably partly responsible for a huge proportion of drug/alcohol and violent related crimes within our city and elsewhere.
“Whatever fate is in store for Goad, I don’t believe that he will ever experience the pain he personally inflicted on so many.”
More than one hundred men were traced and interviewed in connection with the case. More than half told police that they were sexually abused by Goad but many could not face the prospect of a court case.
Officers believe that what has been uncovered so far and brought to court is just the ‘tip of the iceberg’.
Ten of Goad’s victims came forward after reading an Evening Herald report about his remand in custody in July 2003.
Dc Livingstone said: “I believe there will be many more victims who have not yet come forward for various reasons. These could run into the hundreds.”
Dc Thompson added: “It is apparent that Goad was abusing boys constantly throughout the last four decades. The boys were between eight and 17 at the time of their abuse. However, indications are that some could have been even younger.”
The earliest abuse case city police have unearthed dates back to 1964 when Goad was himself just 19 years old.
His victim was a boy who went to work for him selling rosettes at Plymouth Argyle. Usually he would meet them through his discount shops or market stalls where he sold items that were cheap and appealed to children.
He also set up and ran The Mount Gould Camping Club, taking young boys from the area camping. Dc Livingstone added: “He would offer them jobs and pay them over the odds. He would take them on trips and spoil them. He would give them free run of his house. They were allowed to come and go as they pleased.
“His homes were a magnet to young boys. They were full of nice things; pool/snooker tables, a swimming pool, games consoles, food and drink.”
He would pay them to introduce him to other boys, make boys perform acts on each other while he watched or joined in.”
Dc Thompson added: “Goad always gave the boys the impression that he was well-connected and had people who would sort them if they ever told anyone. He would make them think that no one would believe them over a successful businessman like himself.”
Initially he would present as someone kind, generous, friendly and then, as one victim described, ‘he became a beast and ripped my world apart’, she added. Goad would also pick up boys from the street if he liked the look of them.
“One of our victims talked about going away with Goad and cruising schools in attempts to grab other boys,” added Dc Livingstone.
Goad has been described as selecting a boy for a job interview then raping the child and leaving him in shock to make his own way home, added Dc Thompson. Police say Goad’s victims kept quiet because they felt guilty for allowing it to happen and, having accepted money, felt no one would believe them and through fear or shame.
Dc Livingstone added: “Goad was so prolific there will be a lot more victims who have not yet come forward. Some will have tried to put it in the past, some may be in denial or may feel that it is so far in the past that there is nothing that they can do. Some will just be scared.”
When Goad was jailed, victims spoke of the ‘evil beast’ who had ruined their lives and stolen their childhoods.
Many spoke of how they had turned to drugs to block out horrific memories of abuse, been in trouble with the law and tried to kill themselves following his terrifying sex attacks on them.
Goad pleaded guilty to 14 serious sexual assaults and two indecent assaults on boys under the age of 16.
Two other counts of serious sexual assault were ordered to lie on file.
Goad, aged 60 at the time of his conviction, of Ford Park Road, committed the offences between 1964 and 1994 and sparked a six-year police investigation in Plymouth.
The public gallery of court 3 was packed with victims and their families when Goad appeared in court. Many sobbed as the charges were read and heard Goad enter his guilty pleas as he stood impassively in the dock.
After the hearing, one of Goad’s victims – who cannot be named for legal reasons – said he was raped and abused by the monster from the age of 11.
He had got into Goad’s car after seeing a close friend in the vehicle with him. He was taken back to a seedy flat where Goad raped him. It was the start of three years of abuse.
He told the Herald: “At the end of the day that man ruined my life. I have been trying to kill myself for years and have been in and out of psychiatric units, hospitals and therapy."
He said that as a result of Goad’s abuse of him, he turned to drugs and was a heroin addict for 12 years.
“It was a way of forgetting,” he added.
Also at court was a 35-year-old man who started the police investigation into Goad. In the late 1980s Goad received a suspended sentence for indecently assaulting him.
Later he opened up to police about further abuse, which led to other victims having the strength to come forward and give statements to police.
Standing on the crown court steps in 2004 he said: “I am absolutely ecstatic. I have been dreaming for years and years to see this day come."