BREAKING GILLINGHAM

Paedophile jailed for 22 years after rape of two children

paedophile jailed for 22 years after rape of two children

Serious sexual assaults committed against two children 15 years ago has led to a Gillingham man being sentenced to 22 years imprisonment.

Jonathan Richards carried out serious sexual assaults against the children at a property in Gillingham in 2003.

The 36-year-old, of Britton Street in Gillingham, denied raping a child, gross indecency with a child, sexual assault on a child and causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

He was convicted of each offence following a trial which took place at Maidstone Crown Court in January 2019. He was sentenced at the same court on Monday 29 April 2019.

Detective Constable Shaun Ravate, the investigating officer for this case, said: ‘Richards subjected each child to horrific and degrading sexual abuse and they are still processing the trauma to this day.
‘In addition to his depraved offending, his unpleasant nature is shown by the fact he forced the victims to go through the torment of a trial.
‘It took a huge amount of courage for these two victims to speak out against this offender and I commend them for the courage they have shown.
‘Their courage now means Richards is safely in prison, where he can no longer harm children.
‘Despite the length of time that has passed since the time of the offences, it does not make them any less serious or traumatic for the victims.
‘Anyone who has experienced sexual abuse is encouraged to report it to us so that we can ensure they receive the support and care they need and take the necessary legal action.’

An NSPCC spokesperson said: “Child sexual abuse can have life-changing effects on victims which can last in to adulthood. But as this case proves it is never too late for victims to report what has happened to them.

“Speaking out not only enables justice to be served, it also opens doors so victims can get the professional help and support they need so they can break free from the emotional and mental turmoil they have coped with in silence for many years. In time they can learn how to overcome their ordeal and go on to live a happy, normal life.”