January 2010

Denbigh trucker jailed for offences spanning 30 years

A lorry driver has been jailed for eight years for sex offences against children spanning four decades.

Robert Owen, 61, from Denbigh, denied 19 offences, but was convicted at Mold Crown Court.

The first two offences involved a five-year-old girl – now in her 50s – when Owen was aged just 15.

Judge John Rogers QC said Owen had added to the victims’ distress by making them “relive their nightmare” in court.

Owen’s first victim told her parents at the time, and they tackled Owen, but it went no further.

The judge said this was a warning about his own “perverted sexual appetite for female children,” but was a warning he ignored.

In the 1980s Owen sexually assaulted another girl aged about six, and later targeted another, seven.

Police caution

Both women, now in their 30s, gave evidence against him.

The judge said Owen, a married man, had carried out a persistent campaign of abuse over many years.

Owen said the women were lying, apart from one incident when he received a police caution after admitting a sex offence against one of the victims in the early 1990s.

The court heard he worked as a long distance lorry driver, often away from home for long periods.

In sentencing, judge Rogers said he had to consider the maximum sentences applying to the offences at the time he committed them.

Also, the defendant would have to serve two thirds of the sentence imposed, not half the sentence which defendants who commit present day offences normally have to serve.

Owen was ordered to register with police as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

He had denied two offences of indecency with a child going back to the 1960s, five charges of indecent assault in the early 1980s, and 12 offences of indecent assault and indecency with a child between 1986 and 1991.

The court heard the child victims did not understand what was happening at the time, but one of his victims recently tackled him about the attacks.

He told her there was nothing he could do about it now.

Police investigated and two more victims emerged.