A paedophile who groomed and sexually abused six children more than 30 years ago has been jailed for 24 years.
Terrence Sharples, 52, was found guilty last month of 28 sexual offences, including five counts of rape against a girl aged just 12 and 17 counts of indecent assault.
He has now been sentenced to 24 years in prison by a judge at Preston Crown Court.
The offences, committed against four boys and two girls in Leyland, Blackburn and Blackpool, date back to the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Sharples’ victims were as young as six.
But his crimes only came to light when one of his victims decided to tell his harrowing story to police in 2009, which brought forward five other victims.
Today, one of his victims, now aged 39, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said he believes there are more who have still not come forward. He said: “I can never forget what he did but I feel some closure now. I know he is not going to be out there. It kind of puts an end to it, but it never really ends. It is going to be with me for the rest of my life.
“I’m hoping anyone who has been affected by him will come forward. I don’t believe he has done nothing for 20 years, I know there will be other people out there who have been affected by him as well.”
Preston Crown Court heard Sharples, of Turf Hill Road, Rochdale, would groom his victims by playing children’s games with them, allowing him to touch them. He then ‘extended’ those activities to carry out his assaults. He told one child that the assault was ‘our secret’ while another boy was even made to sign a piece of paper which he believed would reveal the offences were his fault if Sharples revealed them to his parents.
John Woodward, defending, said Sharples continues to ‘strenuously deny’ the offences. But Judge Norman Baker said Sharples’ offences had caused ‘deep, deep psychological problems’ for the victims.