A SELF-styled ''Christian healer'' who sexually molested three female patients has today been jailed for two years.
As Judge Jonathan Rose outlined the offences committed by Lightcliffe man George Boak the 70-year-old married father-of-one shook his head and the judge said that demonstrated his unwillingness to show any remorse whatsoever.
''For some 25 years you've practiced as what you describe as a Christian healer. Well Mr Boak the offences of which you have been convicted are of course the very antithesis of any of the tenets of the Christian faith,'' the judge told him. '
'They are acts of depravity and of lust and are repulsive to any person of any, or indeed no, religious persuasion.''
Judge Rose accepted that many members of the public had received healing which they believed had helped with their pain and he stressed that it had not been a case about whether such healing was genuine or bogus.
But the judge said someone in Boak's position would be expected to behave as if he were a doctor or a surgeon or a dentist.
''That being the case what we have here are examples of occasions were you have fallen far below those high standards,'' said Judge Rose.
''You have breached the trust of vulnerable people. Particularly vulnerable, I would say, because they were women who had tried everything for their ailments and came to you as a last resort and placed their faith and trust in you.''
Last month Boak. of Aysgarth Avenue, was found guilty on two charges of sexual assault and one allegation of indecent assault.
Grandfather George Boak had denied the three charges and during his trial he claimed a phenomenon known as ''phantom hands'' may have the complainants feel as if they were being touched when they were not.
Judge Rose said that explanation was a ''significant lie'' which the jury rightly saw through. Bradford Crown Court heard that two of the victims decided not to report the offences to the police and it was only seven years later that an investigation was started following another attack on the third woman who did complain.
Judge Rose said Boak had felt ''empowered'' to commit further offences and he said the third victim had been ''groomed'' by him.
The judge noted that the last victim had stopped going to see Boak because of his inappropriate comments to her, but it was a measure of her desperation that she went back to see him because she was in so much pain.
Boak will have to serve half of the two-year prison sentence and he will also have to register as a sex offender with the police for the next 10 years.
Judge Rose also imposed a sexual offences prevention order which means that Boak could only treat female patients in the future if they are accompanied by another adult.
Boak's barrister Michele Stuart-Lofthouse said her client did appear to have a ''healing gift'' which had benefited many people.
She submitted that the biggest effect of the prison sentence would be on his wife of 34 years who had medical problems and had required day-to-day assistance from her husband.