Child rapist who targeted victims over 40 year period jailed for life
A prolific paedophile who repeatedly attacked seven girls in a campaign of abuse which spanned more than 40 years has been jailed for life.
Anthony Burn began abusing one of the victims in Northumberland in the early 80s and repeatedly raped her for two years.
He then began repeatedly abusing two other victims over a two-year period.
And in the early 90s, Burn, originally from Northumberland, then began a campaign of abuse on two further victims, repeatedly attacking one of them over a period of 16 years.
When one of the victims spoke out in 2018 an investigation was launched by Northumbria Police's Safeguarding Department.
Detective Constable Dave Heginbottom led the investigation and began to uncover the horrifying extent of Burn's offending.
His enquiries led him to Cambridgeshire, where Burn had relocated in the early 2000s.
In 2020, a report was made to Cambridgeshire Police where a victim had been raped on several occasions and named Anthony Burn as the suspect.
Burn was also named as the offender in another rape case whereby the victim was repeatedly attacked for a period of seven years – all in similar circumstances to the Northumbria victims.
Cambridgeshire Detective Constable Kev Foxcroft and Det Con Heginbottom brought the investigations together – bringing the total number of victims to seven.
They presented Burn with irrefutable evidence and on May 18, the 57-year-old appeared at Newcastle Crown Court and admitted nine charges of rape relating to offences in Northumbria involving five victims.
He also admitted two counts of raping a child under 13, sexual assault of a child under 13 and an additional count of rape relating to offences in Cambridgeshire.
All of his victims, who can’t be named for legal reasons, were under the age of 16 when the abuse began.
Today (Tuesday) he appeared back at the same court and was jailed for life with a minimum of 15 years.
One of the victims from the Northumbria area spoke out after the case.
She said: "I spoke a few times to my husband about coming forward and he always said it had to be the right thing for me and so eventually I decided I needed closure and reported it to police.
"I hoped I would be taken seriously and I was. And from the day I reported it and the initial interview, I was made to feel comfortable and relaxed and I opened up more than I thought I would.
"Total credit to Dave and Northumbria Police. They've been so supportive."
Det Con Heginbottom said: "This has been a horrific ordeal for all of these victims.
“Anthony Burn has not only taken away their childhoods but has significantly impacted their adult lives.
“To think they have suffered in silence for so many years is devastating and I would ask anyone who has been a victim of any form of abuse – no matter how long ago – to come forward.
"The victims have been so strong throughout this investigation and it is with their bravery this vile man is behind bars. I hope it can give them a sense of closure and they can move on with their lives.”
Burn, of Huntingdon, was also handed an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order and will have to sign the Sex Offenders' Register for life.