April 2022

Increased sentence for Bedford child abuser

A Bedford woman has received an increased sentence for child abuse and child sex abuse after her case was referred to the Court of Appeal by the Solicitor General Alex Chalk QC MP.

Claire Buttice, 42, engaged in a sustained course of sexual and mental abuse against children in cooperation with her partner.

This abuse included causing/inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity and causing a child to watch a sexual act. The girl was 12

She would also regularly beat the children.

And between her and her partner, they would beat a number of other youngsters with sticks and deprived them of food in a horrific campaign of physical and mental abuse.

Buttice has four previous convictions for child sexual abuse, including making and distributing indecent images of a child.

On 28 January 2022 Buttice was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment at Luton Crown Court.

She has also been ordered to sign on the sex offenders register indefinitely and has been given a restraining order in respect of each of the victims.

Her partner Nicholas Harris, 54 received a sentence of 23 years’ imprisonment at Luton Crown Court for his role in the abuse.

Following the original sentencing, the Solicitor General referred Buttice’s case to the Court of Appeal under the Unduly Lenient Sentence scheme because he believed it to be too low.

On 28 April the Court found her original sentence to be unduly lenient and increased by 4 years to 16 years’ imprisonment. Speaking after the hearing, the Solicitor General Alex Chalk QC MP said:

These crimes were among the most horrifying instances of child abuse and child sex abuse imaginable, and these children will have to carry the trauma of what happened to them for the rest of their lives.

I welcome the Court’s decision to impose an increased sentence which shows that such acts of cruelty towards children will receive severe punishment.

February 2022

Bedford couple jailed for “degrading” crimes against children

A coupe who sexually abused a 12-year-old girl before starving and beating a string of other kids have been jailed for 35 years.

A judge heard Nicholas Harris, 54, and Claire Buttice, 41, subjected the young girl to vile attacks for their own sexual gratification.

They beat a number of other youngsters with sticks and deprived them of food in a horrific campaign of physical and mental abuse.

Cops launched an investigation into the sick couple after the victims came forward to report their terrifying ordeal.

In a victim statement, the 12-year-old girl said she suffers from insomnia and has nightmares as a result of the abuse.

Harris and Buttice, from Bedford, were convicted of sex abuse offences against the girl and cruelty against other children after a trial at Luton Crown Court.

Harris was jailed for 23 years and Buttice was locked up for 12 years.

They were both ordered to register as sex offenders indefinitely.

The pair will also have to serve two-thirds of their sentences before they can be considered for release.