Victims' bravery praised as March paedophile jailed for 17 years
A paedophile from March has been jailed for 17 years after being convicted of a string of sex offences against children.
Allan Hammond, (79), of Steeple View, March, was found guilty of 11 offences earlier this month.
He committed the offences between 1961 and 1990. These were perpetrated in a variety of locations, including Chigwell, Saffron Walden and Tolleshunt D’Arcy.
Hammond was originally charged in December 2015, and he faced his first trial for these offences in November 2016, but was met with a hung jury for all but one offence. He was found guilty of making indecent images of children, which officers found on a laptop they had seized from his home.
The retrial began at Chelmsford Crown Court on July 9 this year.
After a 10 day trial, he was found guilty of a further 11 offences including the rape of a girl under the age of 16, five counts of indecent assault of a girl under the age of 13, two counts of indecent assault of a girl under the age of 16, one count of indecent assault of a boy under the age of 16 and one count of committing buggery with a boy under the age of 16.
He has been placed on the sex offender’s register for life and today, Friday August 17, was sentenced to 17 years in prison with a further two years on license
DC Claire Learmouth, of the Grays Child Abuse Investigation Team, has led the investigation since the beginning.
She said: “I would like to commend the exceptional bravery of the victims in this case. Without their courage in facing Hammond not once, but twice, in court, we may not have had this result. I hope that this can give the much-needed message to others that it is never too late for victims to come forward.”
DC Stacie Collins, also from the Grays Child Abuse Investigation Team, added: "This was an incredibly difficult trial for the victims, and I cannot thank them enough for coming together and facing Hammond in court again.
"Sadly, we will never be able to get back the years he stole from them, but I hope that this substantial sentence can go some way in helping their lives move forward."
An NSPCC spokesperson for the East of England said: "Hammond’s vociferous denials of his sickening crimes forced his victims to continue living with the consequences of his abuse.
“But they bravely stood up to this vile predator, helping bring him to justice, and it’s vital they continue to receive the support they need. It is never too late to hold child sex offenders to account – survivors can report non-recent abuse and get support by calling the NSPCC’s Helpline."
The NSPCC Helpline is available for adults to call anytime on 0808 800 5000.