A "depraved" sex attacker who avoided justice for 35 years was unmasked after he was locked up in the same cell as his victim when the rapist was arrested for having a row with his wife.

Gary Mottershead was caged for six years on Friday (17 November) for the rape and six sexual assaults of a six-year-old boy in the 1980s.

In 2015, Mottershead was detained on suspicion of assaulting his wife and placed in a cell where his victim was already being detained on suspicion of burglary.

The victim, who remains anonymous due to legal restrictions, recognised the man who had molested him and told a prison guard.

During a trial at Manchester Crown Court, Mottershead, of Sale, denied the attacks but was found guilty.

The court had heard that Mottershead, then aged 15, targeted his victim whilst babysitting him and after plying him with cider and coercing him into sexual encounters.

In a statement the now 43-year-old victim addressed Mottershead directly, saying according to the Daily Mail: "I have lived with this all my life and kept it a secret.

"Prison was the last place I expected you to be and I felt I couldn't get away from it.''

The court heard that Mottershead described the sickening assaults as their "little secret", but the victim never forgot, and the boy turned to a life of alcohol, drugs and organised crime.

For the Crown, Mark Kellet said Mottershead also threatened the boy: "This continued for a period of time and the defendant threatened the boy that if he told anyone he would sexually assault his sister."

Defending Mottershead, Thomas McKail said his client was an immature boy who had not committed a similar crime since.

Judge Timothy Mort told the rapist: "What you did caused serious emotional distress and has had a bearing on his involvement with crime.

"You may have been emotionally immature at the time but you were physically mature and you knew that you were there to babysit and you were being paid to do so."