February 2022

Paedophile Milton Keynes ex-councillor jailed for child abuse

A former parish councillor who committed “wicked and systematic” child cruelty and sexual abuse for decades has been jailed for more than 12 years.

Peter Orme, 78, who used to be a part of Woughton Community Council in Milton Keynes, has been sentenced to 12 years and nine months after he was found guilty of sexually and physically abusing children from the 1970s to the 1990s.

The paedophile would set up a boxing ring made of chairs and force terrified children to fight each other until they drew blood as part of his horrific abuse.

Orme, of no fixed address, continues to deny his crimes, and Aylesbury Crown Court heard how he is likely to die behind bars due to his old age and health condition.

Sentencing Orme, Judge Geoffrey Payne said: “You used wicked and systematic cruelty towards them

“Over the course of the trial, you dismissed them as conspirators.

“They were telling the truth, they were believed and their accounts were heard.”

Throughout his trial in December, the court heard how Orme physically and sexually assaulted four different victims – one boy and three girls – between the 1970s and the 1990s.

A jury found him guilty of two counts of gross indecency with a child, one count of child cruelty, four counts of indecent assault on a child and one count of taking an indecent photograph of a child.

All four of the victims – all now adults – had victim impact statements read out in court. The victims cannot be named for legal reasons.

One of the female victims took to the witness stand to read her statement out in person, in what was a touching and emotional description of the suffering she experienced at the hand of Orme.

“The hardest thing was telling my children that monsters do exist,” she said.

“I think the mental torture was just as bad as the physical, the gaslighting, the mental abuse, even now when people speak to me, I question what’s behind it – he used to play mind games.”

The court heard from prosecutor Scott Brady that Orme’s abuse took multiple forms. He would bully and belittle his male victim, punching him with a protruding knuckle to inflict extra pain, and also sexually abused him.

The court heard from the victim’s own account that the abuse had left him with lasting psychological damage.

Reading the male victim’s statement to the court, Mr Brady said: “What he did was basically break me, it has totally destroyed my brain, it has taken away my willpower, it’s hard to be positive about things.

“When I look back all I can say is how could he? How could someone do that and not give a s***?

“I don’t think there’s one bit of remorse for what he did. I used to feel sorry for him, then I hated him. Now I feel numb.”

Orme appeared at the sentencing hearing via video link from HMP Bullingdon prison, where he has been on remand since he was convicted in December.

The offender, who had grey hair, a long grey beard and glasses, showed little emotion during the hearing, and spoke only to confirm his identity.

The court heard how Orme sexually assaulted the other two children in the 1980s and 1990s, kissing one in a bathroom, and touching and photographing the genitals of the other. The court heard how he groomed both of these victims over a prolonged period of time.

In their victim impact statements, read out by Mr Brady, both women described how they had suffered mental issues and problems in their personal lives as a result of Orme’s abuse.

In 2015, about 20 years after his last known offending, Orme was voted onto Woughton Community Council, where he served as a councillor for several years.

In mitigation, defence barrister Tania Panagiotopoulou said that:  “There is a likelihood that Mr Orme will die in prison.”

After taking time to consider Orme’s sentence, Judge Payne informed the court that he would have to sentence the paedophile according to the law at the time he committed the offences – meaning the maximum jail term was much lower than if he had committed the offences today.

Providing one example, Judge Payne explained that for a charge of indecent assault – where Orme had sexual intercourse with one of the children – he could only sentence him to a maximum of four years. Had he committed the offence in the modern-day, Orme could have received 11 years or more for that single offence.

Addressing Orme as he gave him his sentence, Judge Payne said: “These sentences would have been longer under the law as it is now.

“All of the children were said to live in fear. You arranged chairs into a boxing ring and encouraged them to fight each other. The intention was to draw blood.

“No sentence I pass can restore those years and the harm and hurt continues. You have lived for decades without the shadow of this over you.

“Your past conduct has caught up with you now.”

The 78-year-old was sentenced to 11 years and nine months in prison, with an additional year added on as an extended licence period.

On top of the jail sentence, Orme was also handed an indefinite sexual harm prevention order, prohibiting him from being with anyone under the age of 18 without approved supervision.