A pensioner has been given a life sentence for raping an 11-year-old boy in the toilets of the Manchester Arndale
John Richard Ferrier, 69, was found guilty of rape at Manchester Crown Court
He now faces the prospect of dying behind bars after being ordered to serve to life in prison with a minimum term of eight years.
The court heard how predator Ferrier approached the schoolboy in the toilets of the shopping centre on Thursday, 18 October last year.
After the boy refused to go into a cubicle, Ferrier dragged him into one and attacked him.
The boy then fled the toilets and told someone outside what had happened before telling a security guard.
However, the terrified child then ran away when he saw Ferrier emerge from the toilets.
A member of the public saw Ferrier leave and told a security guard who held him until police arrived.
The boy was traced three days later when he admitted what had happened to him to police officers visiting his school.
Ferrier, of Ormskirk Road, Wigan
, also pleaded guilty to possession of a bladed article at an earlier hearing.
Det Con Simon France, from the Serious Sexual Offences Unit, said: “I would like to commend the victim who with the support of his family and specially trained officers had the courage to come forward and tell police what happened to him.
“He is a young boy who has had a terrifying ordeal and it was not easy for him to admit what had happened. With his support we have been able to bring Ferrier before the courts and he will now spend a substantial period of time in prison.
“I would also like to thank members of the public and the staff at Manchester Arndale as it was due to their quick actions that meant a dangerous man was stopped and arrested at the scene.”