July 2021

Life sentence for Cambridgeshire paedophile

A paedophile who repeatedly attacked two girls in Cambridgeshire and five in Northumbria has been given a life sentence.

Anthony Burn, 57, began abusing one of the victims in her Cambridgeshire home in 2010 and repeatedly raped her for seven years.

In 2017 he began abusing another girl in the county; raping her on several occasions until 2020. In February this year the victim confided in her mother about what had happened and police were contacted.

Both victims were under the age of 16 when the abuse began.

Burn, of Sycamore Drive, Huntingdon, was arrested and an investigation was launched.

He went on to admit two counts of raping a child under 13, sexual assault of a child under 13 and an additional count of rape relating to offences in Cambridgeshire.

He also admitted nine charges of rape relating to offences in Northumbria involving five victims between 1982 and 2011.

Today (27 July) at Newcastle Crown Court he was given a life sentence, to serve a minimum of 15 years in prison.

He was also made subject to indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention and restraining orders, stopping him from contacting any of the victims.

One of the victims said: “He lived in the estate where I lived. We became familiar with him. I was 12 years old, maybe younger. He knew I wasn’t 16. I was pre-puberty, I wasn’t developed and still wore night dresses. We lived at home with one parent and they worked a lot so we were left a lot at home and so that suited him.

“There are triggers that bring it all back. Particular incidents that are still in my mind. Obviously when I reported, it brought it all back as well. It was just a nightmare childhood. You lose trust in people. He was controlling me. I became bulimic. It wasn’t until I knew I needed help that I went to the doctors and they referred me for cognitive behavioural therapy. And it was then that I was able to strip my life back to the beginning and the result of that was why I was doing what I was and feeling the way I was.

“I spoke a few times to my husband about coming forward and he always said it had to be the right thing for me and so eventually I decided I needed closure and reported it to police.

“I hoped I would be taken seriously and I was. And from the day I reported it and the initial interview, I was made to feel comfortable and relaxed and I opened up more than I thought I would.

“People can come forward and trust police. I’m pleased I came forward because now he is behind bars he can’t have any more victims. Honestly come forward to police. They will listen. They will take you seriously they did for me. Times have changed. They have helped me all the way through it.”