[A] man from Carlisle has been sentenced today (7th October) at Carlisle Crown Court for a number of sexual offences involving children.
William John Hope, aged 57, of no fixed address, was sentenced to 17 years (must serve two thirds minimum), on licence for five years, with various orders attached.
He pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to the following offences:
- 6 x rape
- 4 x indecent assault of a child under 13 years
- 4 x indecent assault when the victims were between the ages of 8 and 16 years old
DC Mark Singleton said: “Hope’s offending is of the most serious kind, and I am pleased he has been brought before the courts to answer for his crimes. He has inflicted a great deal of pain and suffering, and his actions will continue to affect his victims for years to come. I would like to take this opportunity to thank his victims for their bravery in reporting the abuse they have suffered, and I hope today’s sentencing will help them to start moving forward.
“I would urge anyone who has been subjected to any kind of abuse, no matter how long ago, to come forward to report it to us. All reports are dealt with sensitively and professionally, and work hard to bring anyone responsible for targeting vulnerable people to justice.”
Isla Chilton, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West said: “William Hope today begins a prison sentence for carrying out systematic sexual abuse on young girls over a 24 year period.
“The sexual abuse of young people strips away their innocence and their trust in adults who they should be able to look up to as future role models. It has long lasting impacts on their lives, not only at the time but well into their adult lives and could have significant effects on all their future relationships.
“The three victims have shown immense bravery in coming forward and taking a stand against their abuser, which resulted in Hope pleading guilty to the offences he faced. I sincerely hope that following today’s sentence, they can begin to move on with their lives in the knowledge that justice has been served.
“The CPS and police urge anyone who has been the victim of sexual abuse, no matter how long ago the offences took place, to come forward and report it to the police. We are committed to bringing those who have committed such offences before the courts and will support victims in every possible way throughout the process.”
Anyone who would like to report a crime should call Cumbria Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
If you have been affected by rape or sexual assault, contact The Bridgeway Sexual Assault Support Service’s 24/7 free helpline on 0808 118 6432.