October 2021

Paedophile who targeted vulnerable children in Lincolnshire and Derbyshire jailed for three decades

A vile paedophile who abused vulnerable children in Derbyshire and Lincolnshire over the course of nearly two decades has been jailed for 30 years.

Andrew Ditchfield committed numerous horrific sex offences including rapes and sexual assaults against multiple victims in the 1990s and 2000s.

The 54-year-old, who was described as a “manipulative and predatory paedophile”, targeted extremely vulnerable children in Derbyshire, before moving to Lincolnshire where he continued to offend.

The defendant had denied the offences, meaning all 14 survivors had to give evidence and relive the traumatic events in Derby Crown Court during his trial in August this year, something that led one of his victims to attempt suicide.

The court heard they had been left destroyed by the abuse, with many suffering from flashbacks, difficulty forming intimate relationships, trusting men, developing post traumatic stress disorder and undertaking suicide attempts.

A jury unanimously found Ditchfield guilty of 43 offences including multiple counts of rape, attempted rape, indecent assault, attempted buggery, indecency with a child, sexual activity with a child and sexual assault.

At the same court on Friday, October 15, Ditchfield, of Fourways, Tetney, in East Lindsey, was sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment and an extra eight years on licence.

James Varley, prosecuting, told the court that the defendant was a man “whose entire life seemingly revolved around the sexual abuse and grooming of young boys”.

Mr Varley said: “The defendant is a predatory paedophile who preys on the young and the vulnerable, most often vulnerable teenage boys.”

He said Ditchfield often used alcohol, drugs and the availability of pornography to gain the trust of his victims, while also using a “souped up” car to gain their attention.

He would also befriend parents who took an interest in their children, and portrayed himself as a social worker and someone who wanted to help vulnerable children.

The court heard that Ditchfield began the offending by having children sleep round at his house, before things would progress to having his victims sleep in his bed and eventually sexually abusing them.

This included masturbating and performing oral sex on them, while others he attempted to, and in some cases successfully, raped.

On one occasion he even privately adopted one of his victims, submitting fake paperwork to a court saying he was a foster carer.

This abuse took place at houses, camp sites and leisure facilities in Derbyshire before he moved to Lincolnshire, where he continued to abuse children before he was eventually arrested in 2017.

Mr Varley said Ditchfield had devastated the lives of his victims, all of whom submitted emotional impact statements.

He said one survivor “didn’t get a chance at a childhood”, while multiple victims had attempted to take their own lives.

Many had been diagnosed with mental health issues as a result of the abuse, with some suffering from depression, post traumatic stress disorder and anxiety.

Judge Robert Egbuna imprisoned Ditchfield and also imposed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order preventing him from having contact with children until further notice.

Judge Egbuna said: “This was a campaign of offending stretching over a number of years. These [offences] were clearly planned. You targeted vulnerable children.

“You groomed your victims, you distanced them from their families and were in a position of trust.

“The consequences of your abuse have been significant and many view the word significant as an understatement.”

Judge Egbuna added that while Ditchfield had also abused two young girls, he was of the belief he had only done this to provide himself with sexual experience for when he attempted to fool people into thinking he was in relationships with women.

“[It is said] you are dangerous, a fact I agree with having presided over this case,” he said.

“It’s clear you would use any form of deception to satisfy your needs.

“You are a manipulative and cunning man. That I have seen clearly for myself from observing you while giving evidence.”

August 2021

Paedophile sexually abused children over nearly two decades

A man has been convicted of sexually abusing children at homes, campsites and leisure facilities over nearly two decades.

Police said Andrew Ditchfield started targeting young people in Derby from 1992 before moving to Lincolnshire where his offending continued.

The 53-year-old denied 45 offences, including rape and sexual assault, against 14 victims.

He was convicted of all 45 at Derby Crown Court on Friday after a trial.

Ditchfield, of Fourways, Tetney, Lincolnshire, has been remanded in custody and is due to be sentenced on 4 October.

Ditchfield’s offending came to light after a victim reported him to the force.

Derbyshire Police said officers found he had abused 12 boys and two girls between 1992 and 2011.

Ditchfield was arrested and charged last year.

Many of the 14 victims who gave evidence during his two-month trial now suffer with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and drink and drug addictions, the force added.