September 2019

Man jailed for sexual offences against two girls in 1980s

A man who fled to Denmark in the 1980s after subjecting two young girls to a series of horrific sexual attacks has been jailed for 18 years.

Peter John Knight, 72 (06.05.47), formerly of Randers, Denmark, was sentenced at Harrow Crown Court on Friday, 30 August.

He had been convicted of offences including rape of a female aged under 16, indecent assault, gross indecency and attempted rape.

All the offences occurred during a period in the early 1980s up to December 1983 – the two children, who were related, were aged around eight and ten when the abuse started.

The court heard that Knight, who was employed as a milkman, was known to the victims as a trusted family friend.

He was referred to by the victims as ‘Uncle Peter’. He would take the children out on days out and was trusted to read bedtime stories.

Knight would visit the family home of the younger victim in Hertfordshire, and would opportunistically abuse the girl as he purportedly tucked her into bed.

The elder victim had a part-time job assisting Knight with his milk round, and he would also abuse her at his home in Edgware.

Each time he would warn the victims not to tell anyone or speak about what had happened.

The girls, confused and distressed, did not know that the other was also being abused by Knight.

In December 1985 one of the victims said to her mother that she did not like Knight. The mother, curious, asked why, and the victim confessed that he had ‘done something naughty’ to her.

The other victim subsequently confessed that Knight had behaved inappropriately to her too.

Police were contacted and an investigation was launched but Knight had fled the country, telling work colleagues he was ‘in trouble’.

Enquiries to trace Knight were unsuccessful and the investigation was subsequently closed.

In January 2016, at a family dinner, the two victims fully disclosed the scale of the abuse that they had both suffered at the hands of Knight.

The Met was contacted and the case was re-opened.

Knight was traced to Denmark, where he had been living since 1986.

A European Arrest Warrant was granted in November 2017 and Knight was subsequently arrested at his home in Randers. He was extradited back to the UK in November 2018 ahead of his trial.