Page last updated at 17:56 GMT, Friday, 13 November 2009

Two jailed for child sex offences

Paul Martindale (left) and Paul Griffiths
Paul Martindale (left) and Paul Griffiths had denied the charges

Two men who used a pair of children as "sexual playthings" have been jailed.

Paul Griffiths and Paul Martindale, both from Barrow, Cumbria, had denied sex offence charges, but were convicted at Preston Crown Court on 11 November.

Griffiths, 41, was sentenced to 20 years in prison and 40-year-old Martindale was given a 15-year term.

Ch Insp Mike Forrester from Cumbria Police said it was the most horrific and disturbing case he had ever had to deal with.

The charges related to a boy and a girl, both under the age of 13 at the time, and dated back to the late 80s and early 90s.

Griffiths, of Greengate Street in Barrow, was convicted of three indecent assaults on a female and one on a male, two other serious sexual offences and acts of cruelty to a child.

'Miserable life'

Martindale, of Ramsgate Crescent, also in Barrow, was convicted of rape, four indecent assaults on a female and gross indecency with a child.

Speaking after the sentencing, Ch Insp Forrester said: "The two victims in this case have been phenomenal and incredibly brave to come forward and report this.

"I hope this will show others who are in similar situations that even if it takes you a long time to build up the confidence to confide in us, we will always take you seriously and will do absolutely everything we can to bring offenders to justice on your behalf.

"This should also serve as a stark reminder for anybody engaging in similar activity to Griffiths and Martindale that your actions will never be tolerated.

"You will always be caught and prosecuted, and face a miserable life behind bars."

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