A "manipulative sexual predator" has been jailed after being convicted of 35 offences against children.
Robert Wain of Gillingham was sentenced last Wednesday at Woolwich Crown Court to 24 years' imprisonment.
The court heard how in the 1990s, Wain – who was then in his 30s and lived in Woolwich – would target young vulnerable boys.
He would encourage them to come to his flat, where he would groom the children, buying them gifts and offering them money.
Some of the children were as young as 10-years-old when the contact first started.
Wain sexually abused five boys during the 1990s, but the crimes were not reported and so went undetected.
Two further victims were identified during the investigation by officers from the Met Police’s South East Public Protection unit.
The court also heard how Wain went on to exploit situations by grooming and abusing two of his friend’s children, within the last decade, and the abuse was once again was not reported.
"Five of the complainants have had to live with these horrific memories for over 20 years..."
It was not until January 2020 that one of the victims of the abuse in the 1990s came forward and made a report to police and an investigation was immediately launched.
After the initial report, the police inquiry led to names of other potential victims who were also known to attend Wain’s flats.
Officers managed to locate them and they also made allegations of sexual abuse against Wain that dated back to when they were children.
As the investigation progressed, it uncovered the horrific scale of the abuse perpetrated by Wain.
Wain was charged with multiple offences in September 2020 and convicted on May 18 this year.
The 59-year-old of Victoria Street, Gillingham was found guilty of:
DC Andy Khan, the investigating officer, said: "Robert Wain is a manipulative sexual predator who targeted, groomed and sexually abused young, vulnerable boys over a significant period of time.
"I would like to pay tribute to the seven complainants for having the strength and courage to come forward and disclose the details of the sexual abuse Wain subjected them to.
"Five of the complainants have had to live with these horrific memories for over 20 years.
"All the complainants have attended court to give evidence and once again shown immense bravery. I cannot thank them enough and I hope as a result of this trial they can start to move on with their lives, knowing their abuser has finally been brought to justice.
"What this case shows is those who have suffered non-recent sexual abuse will be supported and their allegations will be vigorously investigated; the Met police will do all it can to bring abusers to justice.
"If anyone has been the victim of non-recent sexual abuse I would urge them to come forward and tell us, we have specially trained officers who will listen and help. I know many of these victims have suffered years of torment as a result of the abuse they have suffered - by coming forward we can ensure that those responsible are properly punished."
A National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) spokesman said: "Wain caused untold harm through the long-term, large-scale manipulation and sexual abuse of so many children, the repercussions of which will last a lifetime for his victims.We hope that his sentencing will bring some closure to those he abused.
"We urge anyone who has a concern about a child or who wishes to discuss non-recent abuse to contact the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Children can contact Childline on 0800 1111. Always contact the police if a child is in immediate danger."