January 2018

Child rapist who threatened to kill victim’s family jailed for further 5 years

A paedophile who raped a child and threatened to kill her family if she told anyone what had happened has been jailed for a further five years.

Burnley Crown Court heard how Christopher Aird, 56, is already serving a 12 year prison sentence for sexually abusing two girls when they were just five and eight years old.

He went on trial for those offences in 2012 and at that time police spoke to the victim from his latest court appearance about offences he had committed against her.

But because of her young age and the seriousness of the offences Aird was already being prosecuted for, officers decided not to proceed with the last set of allegations.

Prosecuting, Julian Goode said the case was revisited after the victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons but is from the Pendle area, told officers she could not move on with her life until justice had been served.

Aird, of no fixed address, was interviewed by police in 2015 and said the complainant was ‘distrustful’ and ‘deceptive’. The case was sent to the crown court but on the day of trial Aird finally admitted to the abuse by pleading guilty to rape.

A further count of causing or inciting a child under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity was left to lie on file by the prosecution.

Reading her harrowing victim personal statement from the witness box, the complainant said: “My behaviour changed almost immediately from good to bad. I started to misbehave. I felt my personality had changed. I became a moody little girl. I started to close off from other people. My dreams became nightmares.” She said she was bullied at school as a result of what happened to her and she now finds it difficult to accept help.

She continued: “I feel as though I am a strong person and I will get over this eventually. I wish it was a physical scar which could heal and start to fade. But it’s on my mind. I hope it will heal and in time become a blur.”

Judge Lunt deemed Aird was dangerous and said he had been offending against children for three decades.

Judge Lunt said: “I am satisfied you are a dangerous offender and there is a significant risk of you causing serious harm to others by the commission of further specified offences.”

Aird, who was due to be released in 2019, was jailed for a further five years. When he is released he will be on an extended licence for three years.

Aird, who is already subject of a life-long sexual harm prevention order, was also told to sign the sex offenders register indefinitely.

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