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Evesham man sentenced for child sex offences

Following an investigation by West Mercia Police, a man has been sentenced to 13 years in jail for charges of child sexual offences that took place in Evesham.

Andrew Ward

Andrew Ward, 53, of Evesham Road, Norton, Evesham was sentenced at Worcester Crown Court on Friday, 23 November following a five-day trial.

The jury found him guilty of one count of rape of a female under 16 years, six counts of sexual activity with a child under 16 years and three counts of making indecent photographs of a child under 16 years.

The offences happened between October 2016 and January 2017 in the Evesham area.

At the time the offences occurred, Ward was working in a position of trust as an archery teacher and scout leader, although these offences were not linked to either organisation.

The court heard the investigation was launched after concern was raised by a member of the public.

Following the sentencing, Detective Chief Inspector Ian Wall said: "We welcome the conviction and I hope it will offer some comfort to the victim who was groomed by Ward over a considerable period of time.

"The victim has shown great courage in reporting this to us and throughout the investigation, and is receiving support to assist her in moving forward with her life.

"I would like to thank the member of the public who initially raised the alarm and reported their concerns to the police. Their actions have undoubtedly ensured the victim in this case was safeguarded and prevented from being subjected to further abuse by Ward.

"West Mercia Police is determined to continue working with a range of partners to safeguard victims and prosecute offenders and I'd like to recognise the brave steps this victim has taken to put him behind bars.

"Tackling sexual and physical abuse of children and young people will remain a priority for West Mercia Police but protecting children and young people is all of our responsibility, it's vital that we work with the public to identify individuals who prey on vulnerable children and empower young people to speak up.

"I hope this conviction will provide reassurance to other victims of sexual offences, giving them the confidence to report, and the confidence that they will be believed and that police will do everything to bring offenders to justice.

"If anyone has been affected by this case then I encourage them to come forward and make a report to police."

Anyone who has been the victim of a sexual offence is encouraged to report the incident to police, where specially trained officers will help victims with care and sensitivity, and will work to get the right result for them with their wishes in mind.

Alternatively, there are many agencies you can approach for help, guidance or support which offer a variety of services. Please see http://stoprapenow.co.uk/4284 for more information and for a list of the agencies available in your area.

Posted at: 11.25am, Tuesday, 27 November by LK, Corporate Communications

Published 27/11/18