April 2008

Eight-year prison sentence for paedophile

A PAEDOPHILE who abused young girls over a five-year period has been given an eight-year jail term.

Leslie Finch, aged 49, committed the offences involving children aged between nine and 14 in Abbey Wood from May 2001 to October 2006.

His solicitor Terry Eastwood said Finch wanted a long sentence to help the girls and their families put some degree of closure on what had happened.

Finch, of no fixed address, fled when the police began investigations but was arrested in Falmouth following a TV appeal.

He then pleaded guilty to raping a child under 16 and three counts of indecent assault against a child under 16.

Finch admitted two counts of sexual activity with a child under 13 and three charges of sexual activity with a child under 16.

He also pleaded guilty to three counts of possessing indecent photographs of children.

Finch was put on the Sex Offenders’ Register and banned from working with children for life.

He was sentenced at Truro Crown Court on April 4.