May 2005

Schoolgirl’s rapist jailed for 11 years

A WIRRAL man who repeatedly raped and sexually abused a young girl was yesterday jailed for 11 years. 

A jury at Liverpool Crown Court unanimously convicted Ian Openshaw of ten charges involving rape, indecent assault, unlawful sexual intercourse and an attempted serious sexual offence following a trial. Jailing the 44-year-old Cadbury’s production worker, Judge David Swift said he had lived an apparently normal life but with ‘a dark and terrible secret in the background.’ 

He said the offences had escalated in seriousness over eight years, beginning when she was nine years old. 

Openshaw, of Moreton, shook his head in disbelief when the jury returned their verdicts and his wife and other relatives in the public gallery broke down in tears. 

He was ordered to sign on the Sex Offenders Register for life and banned from working with children indefinitely. 

Openshaw told the court that the girl’s claims were untrue. He was cleared of one offence of unlawful sexual intercourse on the judge’s directions