‘Perverted sex predator’ is sent to prison for 24 years

Jailed: Brian Callaghan and Diane Foster

Jailed: Brian Callaghan and Diane Foster

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A 78-year-old former Preston man is likely to die in jail after being sentenced to 24 years for a string of horrific child sex offences.

Brian Callaghan, now living in Waterford Road, Ipswich, has admitted 19 child sex offences committed in Suffolk and Lancashire in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s.

During the ‘70s, Callaghan lived in Cardigan Street, Preston, and worked as a coffin-trimmer for McKenna’s.

A judge at Ipswich Crown Court described Callaghan as a “perverted sexual predator.”

He jailed him for 24 years for two counts of administering a drug with intent to have sex; six counts of inciting indecency with children; six counts of sexual assault; three counts of child rape; two counts of committing gross indecency with children and one count of cruelty to a child.

His co-defendant Diane Foster, 56, from Downside Close Ipswich, was found guilty of aiding and abetting rape, committing gross indecency and causing/inciting a sexual act.

She was jailed for 11 years.

Judge Rupert Overbury told Callaghan: “You are a perverted sexual predator who enjoyed [abusing children] in a multitude of ways and to a number of degrading levels ... no doubt to satisfy your degenerate sexual fantasies.”

He said the victims were haunted by the memories, had suffered psychologically and had received professional help to deal with the “ongoing trauma”.

Foster was described as a “willing participant” in Callaghan’s activities in Ipswich.

Speaking after sentencing Detective Chief Inspector Tonya Antonis said: “This case highlights that, no matter how long ago an offence or offences took place, we are committed to carrying out a full and thorough investigation to ensure those responsible are brought to justice.

“The crimes committed by both Callaghan and Foster were abhorrent.

“We wonder if they have ever stopped to think about the damage they have done to the children while they sought sexual gratification or how their lives will probably be scarred forever.

“Hearing a victim’s account of the abuse they faced as a child is always distressing and all credit to Callaghan and Foster’s victims that they came forward and reported to us what they went through.”