Victims' relief as paedophiles jailed
TWO paedophiles convicted of "wicked" sexual abuse have been jailed for a total of 24 years.
Darrell Cotterell was given 17 years and Brian Macey-Morris seven years for attacks on children stretching back almost 40 years.
A third man, Royston Mitchell, was also convicted of a series of indecent assaults but will not be sentenced until he leaves hospital after having a heart attack during the month-long trial at Bristol Crown Court.
Cotterell, 65, of Hallen Road, Henbury, was convicted of 16 out of 17 charges he faced, including rape, attempted rape, serious sexual assault, attempted serious sexual assault, indecent assault and indecency. He was cleared of a single rape charge.
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The court heard the offences dated from the 1970s and 1980s and involved two girls and one boy.
Macey-Morris, 72, of York Road, Montpelier, was convicted of two attempted rapes and two indecent assaults on a girl during the 1980s, with the jury of eight men and four women unable to reach a verdict on a further indecent assault charge.
Mitchell, of Ashburton Road, Southmead, was convicted of five indecent assaults dating from the 1970s and 80s. The jury, which deliberated for almost 15 hours, was unable to reach a verdict on a rape charge and four further indecent assault allegations facing the 63-year-old. The allegations involved two girls.
Jailing Cotterell and Macey-Morris, Judge Neil Ford QC told them: "These were offences which were undoubtedly wicked.
"There is no doubt at all that you blighted the victims' lives and they are still struggling to come to terms with what you did to them."
He praised the "very sensitively and professionally handled" police investigation.
Both men were told to register as sex offenders for life and banned from ever working with children.
After the case the man attacked by Cotterell as a child said: "I think he is sick. I think he has shown no remorse and feels that he did nothing wrong.
"I would have liked to have seen them have life. I think that is what they deserve.
"They ruined my life. I still have dreams and flashbacks and it has affected me a lot.
"I am glad I had the courage to come through it, and I had a lot of support around me. I just hope other men who have been abused will come forward, safe in the fact they will not be judged and will be kept safe and secure."
One of the female victims said: "I think justice has well and truly been served.
"My whole family has suffered as a result of what happened to me and I just want us to get on with our lives knowing these two are going to serve sentences for what they've done."
Detective Inspector Gary Stephens, who led the police investigation, said Cotterell was a "very dangerous man", adding: "I think Cotterell is a man of few morals. He's proven he will prey on children and vulnerable people for his own gratification."
Cotterell, a former civil engineer, was in Stockholm in Sweden before Avon and Somerset Constabulary extradited him to the UK, late last year, to face the allegations.
The investigation was sparked when the first of four complainants came forward and reported Cotterell and his co-defendants' indecent activities with her.
DI Stephens said: "Mr Cotterell didn't come across as that surprised. There were no vociferous denials.
"Mitchell and Morris were more robust in their denials."
DI Stephens praised the team of up to six officers working on the investigation, especially detective constables Jo Winterson and Julie Bryan-Young.
He said: "Darrell Cotterell was the main offender and has systematically abused children over the years.
"The sentences reflect the seriousness of the crimes."
Stephen Mooney, defending Cotterell, said his client was an old man with hepatitis C, whose health was likely to deteriorate and had "nothing to look forward to".
"He acknowledges he's brought that upon himself," said Mr Mooney.
Tabitha Macfarlane, defending Macey-Morris, said: "His time in prison will not be easy. It may be that he doesn't come out of prison."