Four men have been convicted of child sex offences after a five-week trial at Bristol Crown Court.
On Tuesday 19 April the four men were sentenced over a total of 45 offences which took place between 1996 and 2003. Their crimes were committed against two girls between the ages of seven and 15.
The convictions follow a police investigation which began in 2016 following a disclosure by one of victims. The subsequent enquiries led officers to conduct numerous enquiries throughout the UK and the review of significant amounts of historical records held by social care, education establishments, digital media, previous investigations and complaints to other forces.
- Grant McGill, 41, of Radstock, was jailed for 16 years for 35 offences of indecent assault and indecency with a child. He was handed a further eight week sentence after absconding during the trial.
- Brian Parker, 48, of Wrexham, was convicted of eight offences of indecent assault, indecency with a child and possession of indecent images of children. He was handed a nine-year jail term with an extended licence period of three years.
- Derek McBride, 62, of Lansdown, Bath, was jailed for two years and six months for four offences of indecency with a child and indecent assault. Having admitted the offences in interview he received a reduction in sentence for his early guilty plea.
- Tim Dale, 42, of Twerton, Bath, was sentenced to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years, for two offences of indecent assault.
Lead investigating officer Detective Sergeant Neil Wood said: “These men acted independently of each other but all identified and took advantage of two young girls who were extremely vulnerable because of their age and personal circumstances. Their offending was predatory and abhorrent.
“The two victims have shown immense patience with what has been a long and complex investigation and demonstrated significant bravery both in disclosing what had happened and giving evidence in court. These sentences reflect the seriousness of the offences they committed, but also the significant and long lasting impact that it has had on these survivors.”
Victim Impact Statements from both women were read to the court.
One addressed the effect that it had had on her, saying: “If I see men with children … I feel certain those children are being hurt and I feel powerless to stop it. If I hear children crying from another house, my imagination goes through the roof.”
She thanked the jury for “hearing me and helping me begin this road to recovery”.
The second woman told the men: “What you have done will never be okay, it will never be fixed. This isn’t something that ‘sorry’ makes all better. Our lives are forever impacted by your actions and your choices toward us. I can only be thankful that you can’t hurt anyone now and I hope that this experience and outcome has taught you something valuable – that your actions have consequences and you have no control over us. We are now stronger than we have ever been.”
In sentencing His Honour Judge Mark Horton commented that the men had all targeted young girls who they knew to be vulnerable and unlikely to report the abuse or get support from anyone who should have been there to protect them. He said both women would be living with lifelong feelings of betrayal.
He found Parker to be a dangerous offender who was predatory, calculated and manipulative and had shown no remorse whatsoever. Finding him to pose a significant risk of physical, sexual and emotional harm to young people he directed that he should not be released from prison until assessed by a parole board as no longer being a risk.
HHJ Horton also commended DS Wood for his dedication and exceptional contribution to a complex investigation.
If you have been affected by sexual abuse or know someone who has, you can find out how to report it to us on the dedicated information page on our website. If you would prefer not to speak to us, the page also has details of support organisations that you can contact in confidence who will provide help and support.