Page last updated at 21:10 GMT, Monday, 19 January 2009

Paedophile pair jailed for life

Lee Wicks, Tina Butcher and Colin Wicks
Lee Wicks, Tina Butcher and Colin Wicks were found guilty in November

Two brothers from Kent who subjected young children to a catalogue of "grave" sexual abuse over two decades have been jailed for life.

Lee Wicks, 41, and Colin Wicks, 46, were each ordered by a judge at Maidstone Crown Court to serve a minimum of nine-and-a-half-years.

Judge Philip Statman said they had shown "not a shred of remorse".

Lee Wicks's partner Tina Butcher, 42, was jailed for eight years for helping him assault one of the victims.

The sentencing on Monday followed a seven-week trial which ended with the trio being found guilty on 7 November last year.

Butcher, of Collet Walk, Gillingham was found guilty of one charge of rape.

Lee Wicks, of Chapel Street, Minster was convicted of 25 offences including rape and indecent assault and Colin Wicks, of Castle Road, Chatham of eight.

Multiple victims

The history of abuse against the victims, all aged under 14, stretched from 1993 to 2005, the court heard.

It was told the brothers still deny the allegations despite their convictions.

"I am dealing here with multiple victims, children of a very young age," Judge Statman said.

"It is impossible to forget the evidence that was given."

During sentencing, the court had to be cleared temporarily after epileptic Lee Wicks suffered a fit in the dock and required medical assistance.

The convictions followed a two-and-a-half year investigation by child protection officers from Kent Police.

"The abuse reached depths of depravity I never come across before and nor have my colleagues," said Det Con John Milham.

"These three individuals cast a net of sexual terror which spanned two decades and involved the sexual abuse of numerous children."

Both men will remain on the sex offenders register for life.

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