A lawyer who spent years defending a series of paedophiles in court has been jailed for sexually assaulting six children.
Mike Pulsford, from Streatham, south London, recently appeared in Southampton Crown Court, where he admitted 16 counts of indecent assault between 1974 and 1989.
The 67-year-old solicitor was reportedly one of the first in the country to receive rights of power to be heard in a crown court, despite not actually being a barrister, before he embarked on a career defending a number of convicted sex offenders.
Solicitor Mike Pulsford has been jailed for eight years and eight months after admitting indecent assault, having sexually abused children from a church youth group in the 1970s and 1980s.
— CrimeLine (@CrimeLineLaw) April 19, 2019
Pulsford was 23 when he began abusing the children, who were all part of a church group called the Crusaders, now known as the Urban Saints.
At the time, Pulsford volunteered as a senior group leader for the Crusaders. According to the Metro, the court heard he pretended to live by Christian values, while taking advantage of his position at the group.
He sexually assaulted three boys and three girls, aged between 12 and 15. Many of the attacks happened at Crusaders camps on the Isle of Wight, though some also took place at Pulsford’s home in Gastard, Wiltshire.
— Team Ted (@teamtedtweets) April 18, 2019
One of his victims came forward in 2011, but the lawyer denied the allegations and continued his work as a solicitor. The BBC report police reopened the investigation in 2017, when another victim reported Pulsford for indecent assault. He finally admitted to the offences last October.
The court heard that he had forced his victims to kiss him, and even showed one child a horror film so he was scared enough to join the lawyer in his bed. He then proceeded to sexually assault him.
One male victim, now in his 50s, faced Pulsford in court, the Metro report.
Reading from a statement, he said:
My childhood innocence was taken away by this evil individual.
I was manipulated by an evil individual. Describing him as a person or even an animal would be a travesty.
A female victim said Pulsford would drive her to a layby where they would chat. He then had sex with her once she turned 16.
Judge Peter Henry said:
You were a sexual predator. Whilst it might be said in the 1970s and 80s the public were less attuned to the serious impact of sexual abuse on children, you would be acutely aware as a solicitor.
The judge jailed Pulsford for eight years and eight months, and banned him from working with children for the rest of his life.
Michael Phillips, who was mitigating, told the court Pulsford had ‘accepted the title of paedophile’ but had now changed his ways.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 (12-2:30 and 7-9:30). Alternatively you can contact Victim Support on 08 08 16 89 111
Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.