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Man jailed for more than 10 years for abusing young girls

Karl Pitcher

A 54-year-old has been jailed for more than 10 years for sexually assaulting four children over a 10-year period.

Karl Pitcher, of Great Orchard, Ilchester, near Yeovil, was found guilty at a trial on Thursday 16 March of 11 counts of indecent assault of four children between 1993 and 2003.

He was sentenced at Taunton Crown Court yesterday (Thursday 8 June), where he was jailed for 10 years and four months. He was also given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and ordered to register as a sex offender for life.

The court heard how, over a 10-year period, Pitcher sexually assaulted four girls aged between two and 14 years old on numerous occasions.

We had a disclosure in 2020 from two victims who had been sexually assaulted as children. The investigating officers carried out enquiries which led to further examination of a further two cases, which were reported in the 2000s. Both cases were investigated at the time, which we were unfortunately unable to prosecute.

In a personal statement, one victim said: “I was a vulnerable young girl all those years ago and he knew it. He used that to his advantage to be able to behave how he wanted towards me.

“He destroyed my confidence. I spent all those years rebuilding my life and was then made by him to relive it all again during a trial.

“I wanted to say thank you to the police for all their hard work and for the result we got. It’s been such a relief to know, after all this time, I have been believed by you all.”

Another victim said: “The day we found out the jury had reached a guilty verdict, I cried with relief. Relief that the truth had been told and heard and that, as victims, we were finally getting the justice we deserved.

“I hope that, by me going through the process of this trial, it will help and support other victims with coming forward and having their story heard.”

Investigating officer, PC Victoria Doble, said: “The victims have shown incredible strength to report these incidents and support the police investigation.

“They have shown such courage throughout the trial and have bravely taken the stand to get the justice they so rightly deserve.

“Pitcher is a horrendous criminal, who has taken advantage of young children and impacted their lives, even beyond his offending.

“I hope more victims of recent and non-recent sexual offences read about this conviction and are encouraged to come forward and seek justice, and I hope this sentence will give Pitcher’s victims some closure.”

At the sentencing, Recorder Judge Millard commended the ‘strong women’ who came forward for the case.

He added: “You are a predator of young girls. Over 10 years, you demonstrated a long-term commitment to abuse young girls.

“You’ve displayed no victim empathy in this case. They are strong women. It takes strength and courage to report the offences and come to trial. I commend them for it. They do not deserve to hear your continual denial.”