A DEPRAVED veteran who raped and abused young girls over a period of 45 years has been jailed for 12 years.
David Kendrick appeared at Portsmouth Crown Court for sentencing after being found guilty by a jury of 33 counts of sexual abuse.
The 81-year-old was found guilty of two counts of attempted rape along with a catalogue of other charges.
He used pocket money and sweets to buy his victims’ silence and had also convinced them that the abuse was normal.
One of Kendrick’s victims was two years old at the time of the attacks.
But the jury was told he targeted girls aged between five and 14.
The court heard how Kendrick, from Bedhampton Place, Havant, abused nine different children, switching child when they threatened to speak out.
He used his good standing in the community to hide the attacks, which started in 1955.
Kendrick served for many years in the RAF, later becoming a bus driver and a milkman.
Defending Sarah Jones said: ‘He said and will say that he loved every single one of his victims.
‘His love was just, in these respects, entirely deviant.’
She added: ‘What this was, was misguided and self-serving demonstrations of his love and undoubtedly, what he has found most difficult to accept, to meet his own desires.’
The court heard about Kendrick’s health issues and a recent suicide attempt.
The defence added: ‘He’s a man in his 80s, a man who had done a great deal of charity work and served in the forces.
‘He will now die in prison without any family support or concern and with significant difficulties physically.’
Judge Roger Hetherington said: ‘The effect on many of these girls was devastating. Several gave evidence about the real difficulties they have experienced in the rest of their lives especially when it comes to trust.
‘Many had buried the experiences but this trial has brought it all back.
‘The real gravity in this case is that you committed so many offences against so many victims over such a long period of time.’
Judge Hetherington sentenced Kendrick to 12 years in prison for each of the two rape charges, to run concurrently.
He gave him the maximum prison terms for all the other offences, to run at the same time, meaning he will serve a minimum of six years.
POLICE PRAISE VICTIMS FOR HELPING TO SECURE JUSTICE
PAEDOPHILE Kendrick was brought to justice following a police investigation launched after one of his victims walked into Chichester police station and reported the crimes in 2011.
PC Darren Lammas said: ‘Hampshire Constabulary is committed to getting justice for victims of sexual abuse.
‘This was a complex case with offences occurring over a period of around 50 years. We’d like to thank the victims for their courage in giving evidence to secure Kendrick’s conviction.
‘It’s also important to recognise and thank several partner agencies, including the Victim Support Witness Service at Portsmouth Crown Court, for their involvement.’
by Kimberley Barber