May 2021

Paedophile businessman, 79, who served in the RAF jailed for horrific sex assaults on girls as young as seven

A wealthy retired businessman who served in the RAF has been jailed for for a series of indecent assaults committed against girls as young as seven.

Victor Ward, now 79, molested three girls, two of them while they were teenagers and one from the age of seven or eight, from the mid 1980s.

The former director of Warton Metals based in Ramsbtottom began his crimes when he was in his 40s but his victims only came to the police with their allegations from 2019.

Ward, who will turn 80 in one week, of Newcombe Road in Ramsbottom, showed no reaction when he was jailed for nine years at Minshull Street Crown Court.

He had denied six counts of indecent assault but a jury convicted him following a trial.

He molested his first victim when she was 17 in the mid 1980s, prosecutor Huw Edwards told the court.

“She said she wanted to scream, but the defendant put his hand over her mouth,” he said.

The victim, now an adult, only told her family about the incident when she was older and only recently went to the police, the court was told.

A few years later, in the late 1980s, he molested another girl when she was 13 or 14.

The victim described how bare-chested Ward knelt beside her, told her he wouldn’t hurt her and ordered her to unbutton her shirt.

She did as she was told and then Ward picked her up and held the teenager against him so her breasts were pushed against his bare chest.

The victim said she could feel her abuser was sexually aroused, the court was told.

Police were told about the attack only in 2019.

His third victim believes she was aged seven or eight when Ward began sexually abusing her, said Mr Edwards.

The court heard Ward removed her underwear and performed a sex act on her in a caravan park.

He also molested her on at least ten other occasions during her primary school years.

Ward would sit the girl on his knee and ask what knickers she was wearing before touching her intimately.

Judge John Potter said he took account of the defendant’s age and health difficulties and he acknowledged there had been ‘positive parts to your character displayed by service to this country in the RAF’.

The defendant had also established a ‘profitable business’ and had displayed ‘generosity’ to his employees and members of his family, said the judge.

But he went on that his crimes were so serious only a lengthy custodial sentence was appropriate.

Ward showed no reaction when he was jailed for nine years. He was told he could apply for parole two-thirds of the way through his sentence.

Ward was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.

None of his family members were in court to see him sentenced.