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Penrith man jailed for life for sexually abusing children for four decades

Arthur Warwick
Arthur Warwick

[A] “SEXUAL predator” who raped two children and sexually abused two more has been given a life prison sentence.

Arthur Warwick, 58, was punished at Carlisle Crown Court today (FRI) for a catalogue of crimes – committed against three boys and one girl – which spanned four decades.

He was sentenced by Judge Peter Davies having admitted 30 separate sexual offences. Warwick had pleaded guilty to five counts of child rape along with a string of other sexual offences, including 10 indecent assaults.

  • Five counts of rape on children aged as young as nine
  • 11 counts indecent assault on children between the age of nine and 15
  • Attempted rape of a nine-year-old child
  • Five counts of buggery on children aged between 12 and 15
  • Three counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity
  • Possession of indecent images of children
  • Three counts of making indecent images

Some of his offences dated back to the mid-1970s. Earlier this year he had admitted attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming after being arrested as part of a police sting.

The court heard Warwick, previously of Roundthorn, near Penrith, offered sweets and cigarettes to the children as “inducements”. He also issued threats to ensure his abuse was not disclosed.

Moving statements provided by the four victims detailed the profound impact caused by Warwick. One described him as a “dirty monster”.

Passing sentence, Judge Davies told Warwick he was a “sexual predator”, and added: “The harm you have caused is incalculable.”

Warwick must serve a minimum of 13 years before he will be considered for release by the parole board. But the judge stressed: “Mr Warwick, you may never be released.”

Detective Chief Inspector David Pattinson said: “I am pleased to see that justice has been served and that Warwick will be going away for a very long time for his despicable actions.

“Warwick consistently committed child sex offences for a period spanning over 40 years. His actions were truly evil and he has left a number of people scarred for life. He would gain the trust of the victim’s parents and then isolate his victims so they felt unable to speak out about what was happening to them. He would leave his victim with a childhood ruined and then simply move on to the next.

“Throughout his interviews Warwick would remain silent as questions were put to him. He may have pleaded guilty to the offences but whether he has any remorse is very questionable.

“I would like to take this opportunity to praise the bravery of the victims who have helped bring Warwick to justice. Without their help and trust in the police, Warwick would be free to continue with his despicable lifestyle sexually abusing young children.  I hope that the sentencing can bring them some form of closure and they can have some satisfaction knowing they have helped bring him to justice and that Cumbria is a safer place with such a monster behind bars.

“I also hope that this encourages anyone who has been a victim of a sexual offence to come forward and report it to police. A victim can be reassured that their case will be investigated professionally and sensitively.”

Isla Chilton, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West said: “Arthur Warwick is a dangerous sexual predator who got away with molesting young boys and a girl for many years, in the worst case of prolonged sexual abuse I have ever dealt with.

“Today his crimes have eventually caught up with him as he begins this life sentence.  Due to the seriousness of the offences, he has to serve a minimum prison term of 13 years, after which it will be decided whether or not he still poses a risk to society before his release date is considered.

“Throughout the 40 years he showed a distinctive pattern of behaviour by befriending children and gaining their trust. He plied some of them with cigarettes and sweets before subjecting them to most appalling sexual assaults.

“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 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.

“I would like to thank each victim for showing immense bravery in coming forward and standing up to their abuser, which has enabled us to bring this man to account for his crimes.  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 Crown Prosecution Service 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, and we will support them in every way possible 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.

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