18 month old Keegan Downer died in 2015, after suffering abuse from her carer Kandyce Downer
Redditch Man Jailed For 20 Years For Abusing A Girl For Years
A man who subjected a girl to sexual abuse throughout her childhood has been jailed for more than 20 years.
Tony James, from Ibstock Close in Redditch, groomed the youngster at an address in Balsall Heath in the late 1980s and early 90s – when she was between four- and nine-years-old – and would sexually assault her “on a whim”.
Birmingham Crown Court heard how James, now 62, had previously physically and sexually assaulted two other children – a boy and girl – at a flat in Turves Green.
The girl – aged between four- and 10-years-old when she was abused – was forced to play indecent games, repeatedly assaulted and ducked under water as a bed-wetting punishment, whilst the boy was indecently assaulted by James after drinking sessions.
The schoolboy was aged between six- and eight-years-old at the time.
James escaped punishment for 30 years before one of the girls contacted West Midlands Police out of fear he was free to potentially attack other children.
He was arrested on 4 October 2012 and, following a detailed enquiry that saw detectives support and reassure his other victims through the process, charged with a total of 19 counts of indecency with a child, child cruelty, indecent assault and rape.
Last month James was found guilty on 19 counts and yesterday (Nov 6) jailed for 22 years.
Investigating officer, DC Gemma Dixon from West Midlands Police’s Public Protection Unit, said: “He is one of the most cold-hearted offenders we’ve encountered…he used the children for his own sexual gratification and often abused them on a whim.
“He’s shown no remorse and didn’t display any emotion when statements were read out in court detailing how his victims were traumatised by what happened and continue to suffer to this day.
“Sexual crimes can haunt victims long after the offence but similarly they also hang over offenders. Anyone who’s committed a sexual offence should be aware that we could come knocking at any time…they cannot rest easily.
“We have Public Protection officers who are specially trained to deal sensitively and compassionately with victims; they are able to support and guide them every step of the way from initial report to court conclusion.
“The victims showed commendable courage to draw a line under the abuse they suffered as children and to see their attacker face justice.”
The court heard how James beat his Turves Green victims, sometimes with a stick, and regularly forced his female victim to touch him inappropriately when he visited the bathroom.
However, in interview James maintained the allegations were fabricated and that the children colluded to invent their stories.
DC Dixon, added: “We will always take reports of sexual abuse seriously – and victims needn’t worry that offences occurred many years ago because, as cases like this show, we can still build compelling cases against offenders.
“I would urge anyone who has suffered abuse, no matter how long ago, to contact West Midlands Police so we can investigate.”
A new building has opened to help support families deal with loss at Birmingham Children's Hospital.
He was found guilty of 5 charges relating to children in the 1990's
He was only charged with the offence in 2001 last year
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