A 59 year old man has been sentenced at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court to a total of 19 years in prison for sexual offences committed against young girls between 1979 and 1985 in Tameside, Greater Manchester.
Keith Downend was found guilty of eight specimen counts of rape and six counts of indecent assault against two girls who were aged under 16 years at the time of the offences.
Downend raped one girl who was aged under 13 years old over a period of 5 years when she babysat for him. The abuse stopped when the child reached 15 years old
It was estimated that approx 2000 rapes took place on the first victim. However specimen rape charges were used in court, meaning only a small percentage of the offences/incidents of rape were looked at
The second victim was aged 12 years old when the sexual abuse started and lasted for approx 13 months.
At the time of the abuse, Downend lived on Hawthorn street in Audenshaw, Tameside. At the time of arrest, he was living on Thorncliff avenue, Dukinfield.
Justin Hayhoe, Senior Crown Advocate for CPS North West said: “This case is an example of how the CPS successfully prosecutes cases of non-recent sexual abuse.
“Keith Downend systematically sexually abused his victims over a number of years. He took full advantage of their vulnerability and young age, stripping away their innocence for his own selfish desires.
“He has today been sentenced to a significant jail term where he will now have to face up to the consequences of his deplorable actions.
“The CPS and police urge anyone who has been the victim of sexual abuse, no matter how long ago the offences took place, to come forward and report it to the police. We understand how traumatic this experience must have been for the victims to testify against their abuser, so I would like to thank them for their courage which has enabled us to bring this sexual predator to justice.”