April 2009

Torrington sex offender jailed

A TORRINGTON man has been sentenced to more than 16 years in prison after being found guilty of a string of sex offences.

Gordon Richard East, 62, from Pathfields was found guilty of child abuse complaints that spanned over two decades from 1962 to 1984.

An Exeter Crown Court jury unanimously found East guilty of five counts of rape, three of buggery and one indecent assault — charges he continued to deny in the dock.

Despite maintaining his innocence throughout the police investigation, East pleaded guilty to further charges of two offences of indecency with a child, three charges of indecent assault, one count of possessing indecent photographs of children and another two of making indecent photographs of a child.

Three victims reported being abused by East and the police investigation which began in December 2007 ended with East sentenced to 16-and-a-half years in prison.

One of East’s victim’s, who can not be named for legal reasons, said: ” Although nothing can replace my childhood a sentence of this length helps me acknowledge justice has been done.

“I urge victims of childhood sexual abuse to report the incidents no matter how long ago it happened as this is all part of the healing process.”

Detective Constable Alison Mead added: “This was a sensitive and delicate enquiry which took many months of hard work.

“I would like to acknowledge the bravery and composure of the three victims — without their courage this man would still be walking free.”