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8 April 2017, 06:19
A man has been jailed for a total of 22 years after admitting a string of sexual offences against children in Essex.
Christopher Francis was living in the Maldon area in the 1970s and 80s when the offences, which relate to four victims aged between five and 15, took place.
The offences came to light when Francis, 70, of Palmerston Mews, Bournemouth was arrested during a separate investigation by Dorset Police in 2015.
In December 2016 Essex Police charged Francis with 23 sexual offences against children.
At a hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday, February 24, Francis pleaded guilty to two counts of rape, eleven counts of indecency with a child, eight counts of indecent assault, and two counts of taking indecent photographs of a child.
Today he has been jailed for a total of 22 years.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Carol Astbury, said: "Christopher Francis is a dangerous abuser who subjected his victims to evil crimes over several years.
"They were young and vulnerable and he took advantage of them.
"I want to praise the bravery of his victims in coming forward and for their courage throughout this process.
"I hope this sentence provides them with some solace.
"Fortunately by admitting his guilt, Francis has spared them having to re-live their abuse through a court case.
"I need anyone who has been affected by this case to come forward and speak to us.
"We take reports of sexual assault and abuse very seriously, no matter when they took place, and anyone who comes forward to report an offence will be treated with sensitivity.”