A man has been jailed for 19 years for the sexual abuse of young girls dating back more than 30 years.
Vincent Whittingham, (pictured above), 69, of Stydd Lane in Ribchester was convicted of several sexual offences, including rape, following a trial earlier this year.
The offences involved three female victims aged between five and 13 and date back to March 1980. The last offence committed by Whittingham was in 2010.
Whittingham was sentenced at Burnley Crown Court on Friday November 18 for offences including rape, sexual activity with a child and indecent assault.
Detective Constable Nick Blackledge, from Ormskirk Public Protection Unit, said: “I am pleased with today’s sentence, which reflects the gravity of the offences committed by Whittingham.
“His crimes left the victims and their families devastated and they are still trying to pick up the pieces.
“Not only did he carry out a horrendous series of sexual assaults against vulnerable young girls, but he forced them to relive their ordeal by refusing to admit his guilt and making them go through a trial.
“I’d like to pay a personal tribute to the victims in this case for their bravery and dignity throughout. I hope this sentence will help give them some sense of closure and that they are able to start to move on with their lives.”
Lancashire Constabulary’s head of public protection has spoken at a national conference aimed at tackling child sexual exploitation.
Detective Superintendent Ian Critchley was invited to answer questions about Lancashire’s approach to the issue at an event organised by Barnardos and the Times after the force’s tactics were highlighted as national best practice.
“Although Lancashire has been highlighted as an example of best practice, we are not complacent and will continue to develop our service to the public in this crucial area.
We will continue to tackle this problem, with our priority being to protect and safeguard children from being exploited and abused.” he said.