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Wednesday, 20 March, 2002, 16:33 GMT
Ex policeman jailed for child abuse
Manchester Crown Court
James Southwell appeared at Manchester Crown Court
A former police officer who raped and sexually assaulted eight children over a 17-year period has been jailed for 14 years.

James Southwell, 68, who served as an officer with Greater Manchester Police, carried out sexual assaults on seven girls and a boy in the 1970s and 1980s.

Manchester Crown Court heard many of his victims were of primary school age and were regular visitors to his home.

James Southwell, 68, admitted two charges of rape but had denied 34 other counts of rape, indecent assault and attempted rape.

Prolonged abuse

He was found guilty of all charges.

The court was told Southwell often invited the children to spend the night at his home in Eccles, Salford.

One of his victims - now a 35-year-old woman - told the jury the attacks had started when she was just six or seven old.

They continued until she was 18.

Southwell, an officer in the 1960s, would also regularly beat the children.

'Depraved lust'

He was also found guilty of procuring an abortion on a 17-year-old girl.

The jury was told he used an instrument to terminate the pregnancy.

Southwell had denied the charge.

Sentencing him to 14 years in prison, the judge said Southwell had used the children to satisfy his "depraved and perverted" lust.

He ordered him to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life.

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See also:

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