Update 24-09-2021: Ric Pallister has been jailed for 11 years following his conviction on Thursday on 18 counts of indecent assault.
A 74-year-old man has been convicted of committing a series of indecent assaults against three victims following a trial at Taunton Crown Court.
Ric Pallister, a former leader of South Somerset District Council, was found guilty of 18 counts of indecent assault, with the offences committed between the 1980s and 2000s.
Pallister, of East Chinnock, was remanded ahead of being sentenced at the same court on Friday 24 September.
Two of the victims were children at the time some of the offences were committed.
Investigating officer DS Frank Glover said: “On the surface Ric Pallister appeared to many to be a dedicated and respected member of his community, but the reality could not have been more stark. He was in fact an opportunistic and prolific abuser who carried out a series of appalling sexual offences against three female victims over a significant period of time.
“He was able to commit these acts in plain sight and wielded the ability to groom, manipulate, control and coerce his victims. The impact of his offending has been damaging and long-lasting, leaving the victims with mental scars and issues with self-worth and self-belief.
“They’ve shown incredible fortitude in coming forward to disclose the abuse they suffered and they gave compelling evidence in court. I hope this outcome will help them with their continuing journeys to find a form of closure.
“I also hope these verdicts will help other victims of sexual abuse to come forward and report offences to us; we can investigate offences even if they’ve been committed in the past. Please don’t suffer in silence and speak to the police, or another agency specialised in dealing with victims of sexual crimes.”
Information about reporting sexual offences and support services is available on our website.