December 2017

Pervert sentenced for child sexual abuse offences

A 72-year-old man has been jailed for 11 years after being found guilty of a string of sexual offences against girls dating back nearly 30 years.

John Colclough started indecently assaulting one of his victims in 1988, when she would have been aged seven.

That abuse, which took place at an address in the Ashbourne area, carried on over several years and eventually stopped in about 1994, by which time the victim was aged 13.

Colclough also started targeting another girl during the 90s, when she was in her teens. That also took place at an address in the Ashbourne area.

One of the victims came forward to police in 2015 and, following a lengthy investigation by a team of dedicated sexual abuse investigators, Colclough was arrested.

The 72-year-old, who was living in St Michael’s Court, Paignton, Devon, was charged with six counts of indecent assaults on a female and two of gross indecency with a girl under the age of 16.

He denied all eight charges but was found guilty by a jury at Derby Crown Court. He was sentenced in October to 11 years in prison, and must sign the sex offenders register for life.

When sentencing, His Honour Judge Robert Egbuna told the court Colclough had stolen his victims’ innocence and robbed them of their childhood. He also praised the victims for having the courage to come forward.

DC Claire Lee, who led the investigation, said: “John Colclough’s abuse lasted for several years, beginning when his first victim was just seven and at a time when he would have been in his forties.

“Not only did he commit these terrible acts against two young girls, but he then forced them to relive their ordeals as adults in court many years later.

“His jailing is a testament to their bravery in the face of the man who abused them. I would like to commend them firstly for coming forward and telling police about what he had done, and then for giving evidence that helped convict Colclough.

“I hope his substantial jail term brings some sense of closure to his victims, and that they are able to move on with their lives knowing that he is behind bars.”

Colclough’s sentence consists of a 10-year custodial term, with a one-year extended licence period once that has been served.

He was also served with a sexual harm prevention order by the court, which carries an additional penalty if it is ever breached.