One of Cambridgeshire's oddest traditions gets under way this morning...
Man Charged Over Historical Sex Assaults
A south London man has been convicted of sexually assaulting two children 40 years ago.
A jury at Woolwich Crown Court on Tuesday 30 April, convicted Patrick Ryan on four counts of rape, two counts of attempted rape and seven counts of indecent assault, on two sisters of primary school age during the 1970s.
He was remanded in custody for sentencing at the same court on Friday 31 May.
Patrick Ryan, 64 (05.01.49), currently resides at Plumstead, but four decades ago he lived in Coleraine Road, Blackheath SE3.
The girls lived nearby and when their mother was out working he would take them to his flat and commit the assaults.
The rapes and sexual offences occurred over a number of years. His victims are now in their 40s, but were aged seven and nine when the abuse began around 1973.
They told no-one about the assaults at the time, but in late 2011 and early 2012 they came forward to police and gave statements.
Ryan was first interviewed by detectives in November 2011 in relation to the younger woman's allegations, and was further interviewed in February 2012 in relation to the allegations from the older sister.
He denied raping or sexually assaulting either of them.
Detective Constable Joanne Crockford of the Sapphire Command, who led the investigation, said:
"The victims were only seven and nine when they were subjected to numerous violent sexual assaults and rapes by Ryan. He took advantage of their age and extreme vulnerability and abused them for his own sexual gratification.
"The victims should be commended for coming forward, even though these offences occurred some 40 years ago. They were supported through the Criminal Justice process to see their abuser convicted of these terrible offences."
Detective Chief Inspector Pete Thomas of the Sapphire Command said:
"The ordeal these two women went through as young children was horrific and traumatising.
"To come forward after so long must have taken extreme courage and their determination to see justice has resulted in Ryan's conviction. Ryan is a convicted paedophile who will now be monitored for the rest of his life as a registered sex offender."
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