October 2012 – Rapist fails to overturn conviction

A SEXUAL predator who groomed and abused a vulnerable woman for more than 20 years has failed to have his conviction overturned in an appeal before the country’s top judge.

Anthony Calvert, aged 50, of Torrisdale Close, Deane, was jailed for 18 years at Bolton Crown Court in November last year after he was convicted of 18 charges — including six of rape and assorted counts of indecent assault and indecency with a child.

November 2011

Paedophile who groomed girl from age 5 and subjected her to terrifying 21-year campaign of abuse is jailed for 18 years

A serial sex offender who subjected a woman to a terrifying 21-year campaign of rape – starting from when she was just five – was jailed for 18 years yesterday.

Anthony Calvert, 48, from Deane, near Bolton, Greater Manchester, traumatised his victim to such an extent that she continued submitting to his demands until she was in her mid-20s.

During repeated sexual assaults in a secluded area of a public park, married Calvert would tell the girl: ‘If I can’t have you, no one else is going to have you’.

On another occasion, he warned: ‘If I catch you with anyone else, I’ll kill you and I’ll kill them as well’.’

The victim, now 28, finally reported him to police in 2008 after he discovered she had a boyfriend and threatened to have him killed.

He went on the run but was arrested earlier this year.

At Bolton Crown Court, Calvert showed no emotion as he was found guilty of six counts of indecency with a child, three counts of indecent assault, three counts of attempted rape and six counts of rape.

The court was told the abuse started in 1987 when his victim was just five years old. Mr Iain Simkin, prosecuting said: ‘He set about a sustained campaign of sexual grooming and he used her to fulfil his perverted lust. So corrupted had she been that she just did not know how to say no. He is a controlling, possessive, obsessive man.

The girl gave a tearful account of her ordeal from behind a screen, telling the jury: ‘At one point he said to me “I’ve been in love with you since you were five years old”. It got worse and I couldn’t find a way out of it. If I said no, he got violent and aggressive.

‘I didn’t know what to do. I felt trapped and scared, because he scared me.’

Calvert was arrested and then charged in January 2009 but the week before his trial was due to start in October 2009, he went on the run.

A number of attempts to trace him were made and he was eventually arrested in Somerset on February 2 this year.

He denied any wrongdoing claiming the girl had made sexual advances to him when she was 16 and he had responded. He told the jury: ‘In most instances she was the instigator of what we did,’ he said ‘I fell in love with her.’

He told the court how he had continued a relationship with the girl after his wife caught them together and ended their marriage. He said he was ‘devastated when the girl ended in it in 2006’.

After the case: Detective Constable Jill Hardman of Greater Manchester Police said: ‘Calvert’s abuse was frequent and sustained over more than 20 years.

‘The longer it went on, the more of a hold Calvert had on his victim and on her life. She grew up throughout all of this; she went from being a small child to a fully grown woman. Her innocence has been robbed of her and that cannot be undone.

‘It was therefore important that this manipulative and abusive man was brought to justice. However, once we had charged him, Calvert could not bear the idea of facing up to his crimes and went on the run.

‘When we eventually caught up with him, he continued to contest his innocence and put the victim through the further ordeal of a trial.

‘But he has now reached a point where he has nowhere to turn and now his continued arrogance has earned him a lengthy custodial sentence.

‘This has been really hard for the victim, but I hope that this sentence can now help her to move on with her life.

‘I would like to praise her for her bravery in coming forward and speaking out. Many people carry these emotional scars for their entire lives because they are too afraid to talk about what happened, and their attackers walk free.’