A Knottingley paedophile has been jailed for 30 years in a case which police described as being one of the worst they had ever dealt with.
Graham Leslie Howard, 47, of Croft Avenue, was jailed at York Crown Court on Friday after being found guilty of 18 charges including 11 counts of the rape of a child, two of indecency with a child, three indecent assaults, and two of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual behaviour.
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He also faced trial for three offences of cruelty to a child but pleaded guilty to those charges just before the start of his trial.
The police said that Howard, who had lived in York, Scarborough and Darlington, subjected the children to unspeakable, sickening sexual and physical sickening abuse.
Following his imprisonment, investigating officer, Detective Constable Rosie Rogers of Scarborough CID, said: “This is one of the worst cases of child abuse I have ever dealt with. No child should have to go through the terror and pain that they suffered at his hands.
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“Although the sentence reflects the seriousness of his horrific crimes, nothing can take away the trauma he has inflicted on those children and the impact on the rest of their lives.
“We appreciate that telling the police what has happened takes courage. It is not easy reliving such distressing situations.
“They have been incredibly brave in coming forward to re-live their ordeals and in doing so have ensured that a dangerous man is now behind bars where he cannot harm any more children.
“I hope the result gives them some form of closure on a horrendous time in their lives.”
Meanwhile, children’s protection charity, NSPCC, released a statement saying: “The long-jail term handed to Howard reflects the truly sickening abuse he inflicted on his young victims, which will leave an indelible mark on their lives.
“Their bravery has helped bring to justice a highly dangerous and predatory abuser and it is vital they now receive all available support to recover.
“Child sexual abuse ruins lives. The NSPCC visits hundreds of primary schools every year to teach children how to stay safe from abuse and empower them to speak out if they ever experience it.”