Redruth paedophile raped and assaulted three children
A REDRUTH paedophile who raped and indecently assaulted three children over a 15-year period has been warned to expect a long prison sentence.
At Truro Crown Court today, Joseph Richards, of Strawberry Fields, Lanner, was convicted by a jury of 18 counts of rape and indecent assault on children aged between 10 and 16.
The victims, who are now adults and cannot be named for legal reasons, gave video evidence during the trial and were cross examined by Jeremy Leaning, for the defence.
Richards, 50, was investigated by police after the victims came forward and reported the abuse.
Officer in the case, Detective Constable Jon Viant, said the first allegation was made in 2006, followed by a second in 2009, but it was not until the third victim came forward in 2011 that there was enough evidence to charge Richards.
Following the conviction, DC Viant, from Camborne CID, said: “This conviction is the culmination of a sensitive and complex two-year police investigation into the abuse of three children spanning 15 years.
“The outcome would not have been possible were it not for the courage of the victims who were vulnerable.
“These terrible crimes have left the victims with mental scars but hopefully this verdict will bring closure and help them move on with their lives.”
The jury of six women and five men deliberated for seven and a half hours before returning four unanimous verdicts and 14 majority verdicts.
Recorder Barry Cotter, QC, said: “You have been found guilty of a number of offences. I am not going to pass sentence now ... you should have no shadow of a doubt that it will be a long prison sentence that you will receive.”
Richards was found guilty of three counts of raping and four counts of indecently assaulting one girl between March 1993 and March 1996.
He was also found guilty of four charges of indecent assault and three of indecency with a boy between the same dates.
The jury returned a verdict of not guilty on a further charge of indecency with the same boy.
He was found guilty of a further four counts of raping another girl on dates between November 2008 and November 2009.
DC Viant said he would like to reassure the public that Devon and Cornwall Police took all allegation seriously.
He said: “This conviction illustrates how we are determined to bring offenders to justice no matter how long ago a crime may have taken place.”
Richards is due to be sentenced next month after the preparation of a pre-sentence report.