An army veteran who served his country in Northern Ireland has been caged for 18 years for sexually abusing girls in Peterborough as young as four years old.
Alan Burgess (65) of Seymour Place, Paston, Peterborough, carried out the horrific abuse on four different girls over a 14 year period.
He was found guilty of 19 separate counts at a trial at Peterborough Crown Court - but despite overwhelming evidence he continues to deny the offences.
Today he was locked up at Peterborough Crown Court, and showed no remorse for the years of abuse he carried out.
The jury was told he had become friends with one of the girl’s mother and gained her trust before babysitting on numerous occasions. He had also bought the girl gifts and paid for activities.
However, in 2013, the victim came forward and reported the abuse she had suffered at the hands of Burgess in her childhood.
As a result of inquiries, police officers also discovered three further victims that Burgess had targeted in a similar way, by gaining the trust of their parents and even helping them out financially.
When he was arrested police seized a computer, and found nearly 7,000 indecent images of children. They also found a video tape of footage he had shot of a young girl in a street.
Sentencing, Judge Sean Enright said Burgess ‘could not contain himself’ once he had gained his victim’s trust. He said: “The evidence shows there was an intense sexual interest in prepubescent girls over a very long time.
“The images show that very clearly.”
The court was told Burgess served in the army for a number of years, and was also a delivery driver. He had not been convicted of any other offences before the trial.
DC Mark Andrews, who investigated, said: “Burgess targeted vulnerable girls with difficult backgrounds, families with financial troubles.
“He would develop the trust of the mothers by offering his services as a babysitter. He would then buy the girls gifts, and take them out.
“Once he had gained the parents’ trust the abuse would start.
“All of the victims showed huge amounts of courage in giving their evidence at court and should be commended. In particular, the information provided by the victim who first reported Burgess to us helped identified the other victims and safeguarded them from potential further abuse.
“Burgess’s crimes were truly despicable and the seriousness of his offending is reflected in the sentence handed out today. I hope the victims can now begin rebuilding their lives in the knowledge that justice has been done.”
Judge Enright also put a sexual offences prevention order in place for the next 25 years. He will also have to sign the sex offenders register.
He was found guilty on seven counts against the first victim including one count of attempted rape and a number of counts indecent and sexual assault.
He was convicted of one count of sexual assault against a nine year-old girl four counts of sexual assault against another girl aged 11, and three counts of sexual assault against a further girl, who turned eight over the period concerned.
Burgess was also found guilty of possessing 32 indecent images of children, including two at level 5, the most severe level; making 6,998 indecent images of children, most at level 3 but five at level 5; and making an indecent image of a child, namely video footage of an unknown girl.