Paedophile and his wife found guilty

A PORTBURY pensioner was found guilty of 14 counts of sexually abusing his stepdaughter and other young girls at Bristol Crown Court on Friday.

The court heard the 65-year-old subjected his stepdaughter to nine years of abuse, between 1978 and 1987, some of it violent, during a two-week trial which saw him appear alongside his wife, the girl’s mother, who was found guilty of one charge of assault.

Fiona Elder, prosecuting, told the court the girl, who was just eight years old when the abuse started, grew up in ‘a highly sexualised environment’ and was held down by her mother while her stepfather repeatedly whipped her with a stick.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victims, was originally charged with 19 offences including acts of gross indecency and indecent assaults on three other girls under the age of 16.

While giving evidence he admitted having sexual encounters with a 17-year-old neighbour who turned to him for advice.

Miss Elder had previously told the court when the girl confronted her stepfather years later about the abuse he said ‘I thought you liked it’ and ‘I was teaching you’.

A family member who was in court during the trial has contacted the Times to thank the police officer who dealt with the case.

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He said: “I cannot thank DC Iain Prideaux enough for his hard work and determination to pursue the complaints made by my family and the other victims.

“He is amazing and can feel rightly proud of bringing to justice a paedophile after 30 years of offending.

“DC Prideaux has been tenacious and so supportive I hope he receives recognition from his constabulary.”

The pensioner has been remanded in custody, his wife released on bail, and both are expected to be sentenced next month.