Febuary 2010

Northwich paedophile guilty of rape

A NORTHWICH paedophile has been found guilty of rape and indecent assault.

Jurors at Chester Crown Court reached a unanimous verdict today, Friday, and found Lawrence Bennett, 57, of Alan Street, guilty of nine offences stretching back over a period of 20 years.

Bennett was found guilty of rape between December 13, 1986, and December 14, 1987, and four counts of indecent assault between March 1, 1999, and October 1, 1999.

He was also found guilty of four counts of sexual activity with a child under the age of 13, between November 1, 2008, and January 16, 2009.

Bennett had pleaded not guilty to all nine charges.

He was arrested on January 19, 2009 after a 10-year-old girl said that Bennett, a family friend who she called Uncle Lance, had touched her inappropriately in her groin area.

After his arrest, two women came forward, one saying Bennett had raped her 20 years ago when she was 15 and the other saying he had sexually assaulted her 10 years ago when she was 14.

Bennett entered guilty pleas to four offences of possessing indecent photographs of a child, between January 1, 2002 and January 18, 2009, and four counts of making indecent photographs of a child between the same dates.