Dangerous pervert Stephen Anderton jailed for 28 years at Burnley Crown Court for sexual abuse
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A dangerous pervert who raped three girls and sexually abused a boy has been given a sentence totalling 28 years following our investigation.
Stephen Anderton’s abuse started in the 1980s and spanned four decades.
The youngest victims were aged just four when 53-year-old Anderton began his depraved catalogue of abuse.
The mother of one of the victims first contacted the police to report Anderton’s crime against her daughter in 2018.
Enquiries from our detectives then led to further victims being identified.
Anderton, of Bank Street, Padiham, stood trial at Burnley Crown Court and was last month found guilty of five rapes and 15 other sexual offences committed against children.
Today (September 22) Anderton appeared back in the dock where Judge Sara Dodd gave him a custodial sentence of 27 years with an extended licence period of one year after deeming him to be a dangerous offender.
He will have to serve at least two thirds of the custodial element of the sentence before he is eligible for parole.
Anderton was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.
To help you understand how Anderton’s sordid behaviour has affected his victims, we have taken extracts from their statements to the court.
One of the victims said: “When it was happening, I was always blamed. Anderton blamed me. I blamed me. From this experience, I’ve always struggled to let anyone into my life as they would never be able to know the true me due to me blocking this out to survive.
“During my time at school, I struggled academically, I would want to rebel against all adult figures in my life; teachers, parent and grandparents. I didn’t feel like I could trust any of them or that anyone could support me and encourage me to succeed.”
Another of the victim’s said: “I want to say that I would probably have taken all this to the grave if this investigation hadn’t started back in 2018 as I felt that I could not tell anyone what had happened to me back then and I just got on with my life.
“Although I have never been diagnosed with any mental health issues, I know that I have a split personality in a way. I can go from being mild and calm to being very angry for no reason at all. I believe this is all the frustration and memories I had as a kid growing up and what the defendant did to me that causes this.”
The third victim said: “I am not sure how to put into words the reprehensible damage the defendant caused to my life and the way I perceive the world. I often wish to have this life taken from me; I really do wish I could erase the past completely.
“How could Anderton not see the damage he caused and why does he choose to put me through it again by denying what he has done.
“I blamed myself for such a long time. Was I a bad child? Did I do something so horrible that I deserved this torture? The answer is no. Anderton is well and truly just a monster! I don’t understand how he can live guilt free and get on with his life when I struggle to get on with mine every day. The world really is cruel.”
The fourth victim said: “I have felt that my life has been on hold since reporting the abuse, whilst the defendant has been away abroad on holiday, been seen out socialising like his life is not affected at all. This is hard to take in, as I have felt so low and worthless.”
DC Jade Shaw, of the Blackburn Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Unit, said “Anderton is a dangerous individual who presents a serious risk to children by his perverted sexual interest towards them. I welcome the sentence handed down to him which reflects the seriousness of his crimes. The orders also offer the public protection against any potential future offending from Anderton if he is eventually released from prison.
“I want to praise each victim for the courage they have all shown in coming forward. Anderton refused to plead guilty despite knowing exactly what he had done, forcing the victim’s to relive their ordeals through the trial process.
“I hope the convictions and sentence provide the victims with some closure and enables them to begin rebuilding their lives.
“Finally, I would encourage any other victim of sexual abuse to come forward, knowing they will be believed, listened to and that we will do everything in our power to put the perpetrator before the courts.”
If you or somebody you know has been the victim of a sexual offence email [email protected] or call 101. If a crime is in progress always call 999.