Published: 00:01, 02 October 2014
A former Whitstable publican suffered a massive heart attack within hours of being convicted of a string of appalling sex offences on a child.
Craig Rafferty – who once ran the Fountain Public House – was rushed to hospital after his heart stopped three times.
He was then placed in an induced coma for two weeks while surgeons fought to save his life.
Now the 43-year-old, who has made a recovery, was returned to Canterbury Crown Court to face judicial as well as divine punishment!
Rafferty, of Medway Avenue, Yalding was jailed for 15 years after being told he had imposed “the worst possible cruelty of sexual abuse” on his victim.
The former caravan park owner had wept as the prosecutor Simon Taylor outlined details of his appalling historic attacks.
But the judge dismissed them as “just crocodile tears” from a man "without shame or remorse".
The jury had convicted him on seven sex abuse counts.
His victim told the jury how the vile pervert would “rub against me like I was a woman” and would ignore the youngster’s anguished tears.
Judge James O’Mahony told Rafferty: “You carried out every possible form of sexual abuse imaginable..leaving your victim feeling disgusted and being treated like an object for your of sexual gratification by threatening him and assaulting him.
“This was a regime of cruel abuse and you robbed him of his childhood.
"He was left feeling ashamed and dirty and you have shown not one shred of remorse" - Judge James O'Mahony
"He was left feeling ashamed and dirty and you have shown not one shred of remorse.”
John O’Higgins, defending, said that after the jury’s verdict he was “struck down by a very serious illness”.
“There was a serious question mark for a time over his survival after suffering a heart attack in prison when his heart failed three times.
The seriousness of his condition was reflected by the fact he was in an induced coma for two weeks.”
The barrister said Rafferty now needed “powerful” medication to deal with his ongoing heart problems which is also affecting his memory.
He added that some may conclude that for Rafferty to “suffer so gravely” could be viewed as a form of “divine punishment”.
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