A 48-YEAR-OLD Stroud milkman who subjected a 10-year-old boy to an ordeal of rape and sexual abuse has been jailed for eight-and-a-half years.

Mark Bullingham's offences were discovered when the boy ran away from home and was reported missing by his family.

police discovered he had spent a night with Bullingham while missing.

Officers then realised that Bullingham was already a registered sex offender following an attack on a 14-year-old girl six years ago.

Jailing Bullingham, of Nouncells Cross, Bisley Old Road, Stroud, at Gloucester Crown Court today, Wednesday, October 10, Judge William Hart told him it was clear the sexual offender course he underwent after his 2006 conviction had not worked.

"You groomed this boy, you formed a bond of trust with him and you abused that trust," the judge said.

"Over a period of several weeks you indulged in increasingly serious offences. You also took explicit photographs.

"You lack any real insight into the gravity of what you did to this boy.

"You described your relationship with him as if you were talking about a relationship between two consenting adults. "Your distorted and perverted thinking is all too evident from the nature of your interview with the police."

The judge passed an extended sentence meaning that after his release on parole in four years time, Bullingham, who admitted the offences, will be on licence for another nine-and-a-half-years and subject to recall.

He made a lifetime sexual offences prevention order against Bullingham and placed him indefinitely on the sex offender register, as well as banning him for life from working with children.

Prosecutor Mary Harley told the court that on August 6 this year, the boy's grandfather reported him missing because he had not seen him for two days.

Police received information that the boy might be at the defendant's flat and they knew that he was subject to a sexual offender restriction.

"The defendant admitted the boy had stayed there the previous night," she said.

"He was reticent about disclosing what had happened between himself and the boy."

Jane Rowley, defending, said he had been frank and had pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity.

She added that Bullingham had never previously shown any attraction for boys.

"He had genuine affection for the victim but had overstepped the mark with him," she added.

"His offending was born out of loneliness and depression after the break-up of his relationship with his female partner, with whom he has two children.

"Although it was a horrible thing that happened to this young boy he is described as still positive and realising that what happened was not his fault. He remains a happy and confident child."