Judge praises ‘courageous’ victims
A judge has paid tribute to the ‘courageous’ victims whose evidence helped cage a ‘cunning’ and ‘manipulative’ paedophile.
Kevin Matthews has been sentenced to 22 years in prison, after being found guilty of eight charges including rape and sexual assault.
Matthews, 49, still denies he is a sex offender and claims that his victims are ‘lying’ and put on a ‘performance’ during his trial, Manchester Crown Court heard.
Sentencing him, Judge Hilary Manley said: “The reality is it was you who was putting on a performance and the jury saw through that.”
“You are a cunning, manipulative and practised sexual abuser of young girls,” Judge Manley added.
The judge also paid tribute to the ‘courage’ and ‘resilience’ of his victims in coming to court and giving evidence against him.
Prosecuting, Iain Simkin, said that Matthews’ offending relates to two girls, who he sexually assaulted over a number of years.
Matthews also used violence or the threat of violence in the course of his crimes, the court heard.
Mr Simkin told of the ‘profound’ physical and psychological impact Matthews had on his victims.
In an impact statement, one of the victims said: “I didn’t really have a childhood.”
They added: “Every man who has come into my life is viewed as a potential abuser.”
Matthews, of Crescent Road, Crumpsall, has previous convictions for indecent assault on a child and gross indecency with a child.
Matthews, who stood with the aid of a walking stick in the dock, will serve two thirds of his 22 year sentence in prison and will only be released following a decision by the Parole Board.
Sentencing him, Judge Manley also ruled that Matthews was a ‘dangerous offender’, who posed a risk in committing further offences.
The judge ordered that he be subject to an extended sentence of eight years, which he will serve on licence after being released.
Judge Manley said she hoped that sending Matthews to prison could give his victims a feeling of ‘closure’.
Matthews was convicted of three counts of sexual assault against a child, two counts of indecently assaulting a child, two counts of rape and one count of causing or inciting a child into sexual activity.