A man who subjected his two step-daughters to years of sexual abuse when he raped one of them and had sex with the other when she was just seven has been jailed.
The 45-year-old from Coventry had pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to raping the older girl in the 1990s and eight of indecently assaulting her.
The man, who cannot be named to protect the identities of his victims, also denied two charges of having intercourse with the younger girl, effectively raping her, four of indecently assaulting her, one of child cruelty and one of voyeurism.
But after a total of almost six hours at the end of a five-day trial, the jury found him guilty of all 17 charges – 15 of them by unanimous verdicts.
He was given an ‘extended sentence’ with a custodial term of 17 years in prison.
Judge Stephen Eyre QC pointed that, unlike a normal prison sentence, the perverted step-father will not be released automatically after serving half of his sentence.
Instead, at that point he will simply be entitled to apply to the Parole Board who will then decide whether it is safe for him to be released.
Prosecutor Tom Kenning had told the jury the man formed a relationship with the girls’ mother, whom he then married – and they remained together until their mother learned of some of what had been happening many years later.
The older girl said that from about the age of five until he finally left, he would go into her bedroom on a regular basis.
Mr Kenning said: “He was effectively sneaking in and touching her, and it progressed to touching her private parts and then to digital penetration, and she says he raped her when she was 15 or 16.”
The younger girl was subjected to similar abuse from when she was four or five.
Mr Kenning said the cruelty offence had involved him taping that girl to her potty when she was about four and forcing her to eat her own faeces.
After the voyeurism offence took place in a bathroom some years later when she was 13, the girl to told her mother he had been acting inappropriately. She and her sister kept most of the details to themselves, and the revelation led to their mother and step-father splitting up.
But last year the younger victim, now in her 20s, learned that the defendant had moved in with another woman who had a young daughter – and she confronted him before going to the police.
Their former step-father denied there had been any inappropriate touching of either girl, and claimed they had made up the allegation.
Jailing him, and ordering him to register as a sex offender for life, Judge Eyre told him: “You repeatedly sexually abused them.
“You told them in dramatic terms that what you were doing should be a secret, and that if they told anyone, the household would be broken up and they would go into care.
“…They did not want to tell the authorities because of their feelings of shame, distress and embarrassment, and the matters were only reported in 2015.
“This was prolonged conduct, and your victims were vulnerable because of their ages and your control over them,” added Judge Eyre.
The judge said both victims had been profoundly affected – and when one of them was asked during the trial why she had not told her father, she had said it was because he was also a man, and she feared he might do the same to her.