March 2009

Paedophile jailed for 16 years

“THEY were treated as liars and troublemakers but you are the liar and you are the troublemaker and you know it.”

Those were words of Judge Roger Dutton before he sentenced paedophile Clifford Slatford to 16 years behind bars for subjecting three girls between the ages of seven and 10 to a catalogue of abuse over a three year period.

Chester Crown Court heard on Friday how the 49-year-old, of Fieldfare, Winsford, was convicted of 17 offences including rape, indecent assault and attempted rape following a two-week trial in February.

Gordon Hennell, prosecuting Slatford, said the crimes were committed between 1993 and 1996 when the paedophile was babysitting the children, some of whom were from Northwich.

He said one of the victims said she found it difficult to trust anyone with her young child due to the abuse Slatford inflicted on her when she was a girl.

Andrew Jebb, defending Slatford, said his client had spent 18 years in the armed forces and had served his country. He said the pervert was of previous good character and had admitted the offences since being found guilty.

Judge Dutton said: “You saw them as objects of your own sexual desire, using the trust that their parents had in you. You took advantage of the contact for your own sexual gratification.

“They lived with this for years but now the public knows the extent of the abuse at your hands. And the disgust the public has for a man who abuses children in this manner.

“This will all begin to heal the wounds that now exist.”

He said the defendant’s actions had been of the foulest sort and evidence exposed him as a serial abuser of young girls.

Slatford is expected to serve two-thirds of 16-year sentence.

DC Brendan Crilley, officer in the case, said: “He was taking for himself the innocence of children. He acted without a second thought and without regard for the longer-term effects that these selfish acts of sexual depravity would have on everyone involved in this case.

“His final act of defiance and denial was to plead not guilty and bring about a trial. Eventually the truth prevailed and his guilt was confirmed, such is the testament of the honesty and bravery shown by the survivors of his crimes.”