October 2003

Paedophile jailed for 12 years

A PAEDOPHILE who systematically abused and raped a girl from the age of nine until she was 16-years-old has been jailed for 12 years.

Ernest Robert Anderton, 48, from Leigh, also indecently assaulted two other young girls, one of whom was just three, Bolton Crown Court heard.

Two of his victims were present at court for his sentencing and wept as details of his abuse, spanning more than two decades, were read out.

David James, prosecuting, said Anderton began abusing one of his victims at the age of nine and “groomed” her for sex over several years. He first raped her when she was 13. 

Mr James said: “She recalls crying because of the pain and was told her tears encouraged him more.”

After that Anderton raped the girl on “almost a weekly basis” until her 16th birthday. The court heard that evil Anderton used threats to keep the girl quiet, telling her that if she told her mother she would not be believed or would be blamed and that she could end up in a children’s home.

When the victim left home at 18 she eventually found the courage to speak about what had happened to her and told police. Anderton was arrested the following day.

At first he denied the allegations, claiming the girl had made it all up because she was suffering from depression and then suggesting the intercourse had been consensual.

He eventually pleaded guilty to two specimen counts of rape and two specific counts of rape involving an act of gross indecency against the girl as well as three specimen cases of indecent assault.

He also admitted two counts of indecent assault against a second young girl between 1975 and 1985, and one count of indecent assault against a three-year-old girl last year.

Sentencing Anderton to 12 years behind bars, plus eight years on extended licence, Judge Derwin Hope told him he posed a very high risk to society and in particular to young girls.

He said: “Your depravity is so deep-seated you were willing to abuse girls as young as three for your own sexual needs.” Judge Hope said the harm Anderton had done to the three girls, particularly the rape victim, was “incalculable”.

Anderton will also have to sign the sex offenders’ register for the rest of his life.