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Man who abused three children over three decades jailed for 21 years

|News, Sexual offences

A 71-year-old man who sexually abused three children over three decades has been jailed for 21 years.

Donald Owen
Donald Owen

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that Donald Kevin Owen, who’s from Warrington, sexually abused the first girl in the early 1970s when she was just 8 years old. He was 19 at the time.

The second victim was a teenager when he abused her in the 1980s. He was then in his mid 30s.

The third victim was aged between 10 and 14 when he systematically sexually abused her over the course of a number of years in the late 1980s and early 90s. By then he was in his late 40s. 

It took all three victims some time to find the courage to tell the authorities about the abuse. Owen gained the trust of the girls, often when they were emotionally vulnerable and befriended them. But, once the abuse started, he threatened them with repercussions if they told anyone. Owen tried to normalise the sexual behaviour. The children didn’t understand what was happening to them but knew it was wrong. 

Two of his victims tried to tell other adults but weren’t believed and the abuse continued. In later life, when they spoke to the police, it was clear that they were trying to piece together  memories that throughout their lives they had tried to push down and bury deep.

Owen was eventually arrested and charged with 21 offences, ranging from rape and attempted rape to gross indecency and indecent assault.

He denied sexually abusing any of the complainants but was found guilty after a trial at Liverpool Crown Court. Today (6 January 2023) he was jailed for 21 years. He has been placed on the sexual offenders register for life. The CPS also successfully applied for a sexual harm prevention order to be imposed. 

Wendy Newton, a specialist prosecutor with CPS Mersey Cheshire’s Rape and Serious Sexual Offences (RASSO) unit, said: “Donald Owen is a serial sexual predator who has abused children throughout most of his life.

“He made these children feel powerless over what was happening to them and that it was normal. They suffered the additional trauma of not being believed when they did find the courage to tell other adults about the abuse.

“The abuse has clearly had a profound impact on them and they have carried the scars into their adult lives. Despite this, they have worked with the police and the CPS to bring their abuser to justice and place him behind bars where he belongs.

“It can often take the victims of sexual abuse many years to talk about what has happened to them.  But time is no impediment to justice and  the CPS hopes this case again sends out the message that we will listen to complainants, no matter how long ago the abuse took place.”

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