April 2015

Retired RAF & GCHQ employee who repeatedly sexually abused two sisters jailed

A retired RAF and GCHQ employee who repeatedly sexually abused two sisters when they were aged between six and 12 has been jailed for six and a half years.

David Churcher, 72, of South View, Pershore was found guilty by a jury of nine women and two men of 13 counts of sexual abuse.

The jury took just two hours to reach unanimous verdicts at Gloucester Crown Court.

Churcher remained impassive in the dock as the jury foreman read out guilty verdicts to all 13 counts, which included digital penetration, sexual kissing, touching of the vagina and making one of his victims touch his penis.

The assaults took place at two addresses in Gloucester between 1981 and 1991.

The two victims sobbed with emotion when the jury forewoman announced the guilty verdicts on Wednesday, April 22.

His Honour Judge Jamie Tabor QC said: “This type of behaviour leaves lifelong scars on the victims.

“They will be unable to rid themselves of them and they will be with them for the rest of their lives.”

Churcher targeted one of the sisters – the younger one – more than the other because she was “more loving and affectionate to him.”

The victims told their closest friends and other family members, including their brother and their mother, but nothing was done about it until recently.

When confronted by the girls about the abuse years later Churcher told them that his wife had had a hysterectomy and they didn’t have sex any more.

The court heard from prosecuting barrister Julian Kesner how the abuse affected the women in completely different ways with the elder sister turning to drink and spending many years in counselling and the other pushing it all to the back of her mind and carrying on as if nothing had happened.

“The abuse of one of the sisters began when he entered her bedroom and kissed her sexually on the mouth.

“He proceeded on occasions to sexually touch her and then moved on to the other younger sister.”

When the girls reached the age of 13 and 14 friends would talk about boys and the alleged victims realised what had happened to them was not normal, said the barrister.

“That is when they told friends and family members about the abuse,” said Mr Kesner.

“Years later the victims confronted their abuser and he admitted the offences.”

One of the victims, in evidence, said that she decided to barricade her door.

“He would put his hands inside my pyjamas and touched me,” she said.

“He then moved onto my younger sister and it happened for a lot longer with her.”

From the witness stand the elder sister said: “I last time saw him 10 or 11 years ago when we confronted him about the abuse.”

Defending barrister Abigail Nixon said: “My client is of previously positive good character and has no previous convictions.

“He has had a lengthy career in the RAF and GCHQ.”