December 2017

Pensioner jailed for 17 years after terrible crimes of his youth catch up on him

A pensioner was jailed for 17 years for twice raping a very young girl and committing a catalogue of indecent assaults against her and another victim.

Robert Croxford, now 68, sat with his arms folded as a judge recounted his crimes, telling him how he stole his victim’s childhood, and “blighted” her adult life.

The Wirral man pleaded not guilty to all the charges made against him, forcing his youngest victim to relive her ordeals in a trial.

But jurors unanimously convicted Croxford him of two rapes, and 11 indecent assaults.

His victim told how she had gone through phases of pulling her hair out and had taken overdoses.

Prosecutor Martine Snowdon read from the woman’s personal statement, revealing how she “thought it was her fault” and she “had a false view of herself”.

She added: “She was the person who Croxford made her believe she was.”

The woman experienced feelings of “guilt when she disclosed the sexual attacks perpetrated on her”, and has been diagnosed with complex post traumatic stress disorder.

She is still on anti-depressants after starting taking them in her 20s, following a major breakdown during which she was admitted to hospital.

His second victim was targeted with “inappropriate touching and kissing” during her teens.

Judge Robert Warnock told Croxford: “You created the opportunity to indecently assault and rape a girl 20 years younger than you. You stole her childhood and blighted her adulthood, it was wholly unacceptable behaviour.

“I hope her courage and dignity in this trial is a help to her in her later life.”

Croxford, of Lee Court Road, Hoylake , had only one previous criminal conviction, for possessing indecent images of underage children.

He was ordered to sign on the Sex Offenders Register for life.