Man jailed for 15 years after historic sex abuse case in Bradford

A man who sexually abused three girls over a period of 20 years was jailed today.

Maurice Rhodes, 61, was sentenced to a total of 15 years at a hearing at Bradford Crown Court today after he was found guilty last month of indecently assaulting his victims between 1984 and 2003.

The abuse took place at several addresses in the Bradford area and in a hotel.

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Rhodes was also found guilty of possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence after he held a gun to the head of another girl, who was just 13 at the time.

The court heard that one of his victims reported she had been sexually assaulted by Rhodes in 2003. He was charged and remanded into custody but she later withdrew the allegations and he was released from prison. She came forward again in 2016 and said the abuse had continued after withdrawing the allegation and another investigation was launched which resulted in more victims coming forward.

Rhodes was charged with a number of offences in May last year but pleaded not guilty to all charges. Following a trial in March this year he was found guilty of charges relating to indecent assaults and possession of a firearm and remanded in custody prior to sentencing.

Det Con Polly Jackson, of the Bradford District Safeguarding Unit, said: “Rhodes not only sexually abused his victims over many years, he was also prepared to threaten them with violence to ensure he got what he wanted.

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“We would like to praise their bravery in coming forward and hope today’s outcome will give them some closure.

“We also hope it will encourage other victims of sexual abuse to speak with our specially trained officers, who will investigate all reports with partners to identify perpetrators and bring them before the courts.”

The Judge commended DC Jackson for her excellent performance, determination and professionalism in what he described as a difficult, lengthy and complicated investigation.