22-year jail sentence for 64-year-old Chester sex offender upheld in the Appeal Court

Terence Bishop

A sex offender who left his victims suffering profound psychological trauma deserved his 22-year jail term, leading judges have ruled.

Terence Bishop, of Blacon Avenue, Blacon, was sentenced at Chester Crown Court in June for 11 sex offences including rape and indecent assault.

The 64-year-old was ordered to serve 22 years for crimes against three victims, two of them children.

Mr Justice Martin Spencer told the Appeal Court in London that Bishop’s victims had “significantly suffered” for what he did to them.

One was plagued with obsessive compulsive disorder and had, at times, slept with a knife under her pillow.

Another had self-harmed and suffered chronic anxiety and depression while a third victim had been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

John Hedgecoe, for Bishop, argued his sentence was far too tough and should be cut.

But Mr Justice Spencer rejected his complaints and echoed the words of the Judge Patrick Thompson who sentenced Bishop.

“The sentence cannot adequately reflect the effect on and suffering of the complainants in this case,” he said.

“The complainants have each endured terrible turmoil in their lives as a result of the offending.”

Mr Justice Spencer, who was sitting with two other judges, concluded 22 years was “well within the range” and not excessive.

Bishop was convicted at the crown court of sexually abusing two young girls and a woman over a period of more than 30 years.

He admitted possessing indecent images of children and animal pornography but had denied the other charges against him.

However, a jury found him guilty of 11 sexual offences following a trial at Chester Crown Court in April.

Maintaining his innocence, Bishop rolled his eyes and sighed during a sentencing

John Hedgecoe, defending, told the court he could offer nothing in mitigation as Bishop still denied the offences.

Judge Thompson said the victims had shown “tremendous courage” in giving their testimonies during the trial when they were accused under cross-examination of lying.

“They are not liars and it is important that this is publicly recognised,” Judge Thompson said.

He told Bishop: “You lied in your denials and you didn’t have the courage to accept what you had done to these women and at least give them the comfort that you were remorseful.

“You showed a complete lack of empathy for the victims and indifference to their suffering.”

Jailing Bishop, the judge said the sentence could in no way reflect the impact the abuse had had on the victims.

“Each suffered terrible turmoil in their lives on account of your offending,” he said. “This was systematic abuse of two children.”

Referring to all three victims, he added: “I hope they can now gain some closure, come to terms with past events and look forward to a brighter future.”

The overall prison sentence includes 21 years in custody and one on licence. Bishop, who had no previous convictions for sex offences, will have to serve half before being eligible to apply for parole.

He must sign on the sex offenders register and was also made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) banning him from sharing a home with a child and restricting internet activity.

The judge commended detectives at Cheshire Police for their work in preparing the case.