Accrington man guilty of abusing young girls

First published in Hyndburn

TWO men, including one from East Lancashire, have been found guilty of sexually abusing four young girls over a period of 14 years.

Paul Thomas and Jerry Lee Howe were warned they face jail after a jury at Winchester Crown Court convicted them of 28 offences including rape and indecent assault.

Howe, 40, of Dunnyshop Avenue, Accrington, was found guilty of three counts against one victim, including rape. He had denied all the charges.

Thomas, 50, of Western Way, Basingstoke, Hampshire, was convicted of 25 charges involving four girls. He also denied all the counts.

The court heard the attacks took place from the mid-1990s and stopped only in 2010.

Kerry Maylin, prosecuting, said: “The victims were, the Crown say, sexually abused. They were children and some of them very young.”

The barrister said the abuse stopped only when the victims reached 16.

She explained that some were very used to the abuse.

The pair abused the victims separately at different times and in different locations, including Hampshire and Lancashire, over the years.

Two other men, Paul Flynn, 30, of Bath Road, Reading, and Timothy Pittway, 49, of Mermaid Close, Winnersh, Berkshire, were acquitted of all child sexual abuse charges against them by the jury. Thomas was found not guilty of six offences against two victims — one of whom was a boy — and Howe was found not guilty of three charges involving a girl.

The pair were remanded in custody and will be sentenced on January 29.

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