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Pensioner faces jail over historic sex charges

Swindon Crown CourtSwindon Crown CourtA pensioner who raped a teenage girl he met through his church in the 1970s has been warned he is facing a lengthy jail term.

Father-of-two Christopher Williams forced himself on the girl who he used to give lifts to and from bible classes in Lockeridge.

The 71-year-old had been accused of raping an molesting the child, now a woman in her 50s, starting when she was just 12 years old in late 1975.

Although a jury at Swindon Crown Court cleared him of the alleged offence when she was aged 13 and under, they convicted him of raping her when she was 14 and 15.

Williams, who was living in Ogbourne St Andrew at the time of the offending, insisted he only had sex with the Marlborough girl once she turned 16.

He admitted one count of indecent assault, shortly before her 16th birthday, and was found guilty of three other indecent assaults and two charges of rape.

The woman told the jury of six men and six women how she was looking for a father figure after her own dad left home.

Despite the abuse taking place 40 years ago she said she was prompted to come forward in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.

She said Williams, who worked as a farm manager, would pick her up from near her home Marlborough to take her to the church in Lockeridge.

He also took her to Stitchcombe and Savernake Forest where they would have sex, she told the jury.

She would also visit the home he shared with his wife and two young boys and he would take her up to the farm where he would touch her in the car.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the jury he said what they did was 'our secret: between us and God'.

She said he used to tell her 'As long as we ask God for forgiveness he will forgive us,' and that her body belonged to him and God, not her.

He also told her that now one would believe the word of a child against that of a church going man, she said.

Williams, now of Stoke Canon, Exeter, denied five counts of rape and six of indecent assault, admitting one indecent assault.

The jury found him guilty of two rape and three indecent assaults, all by unanimous verdicts apart from one of the rapes which was a majority of 10 to two.

Fiona Elder, defending, asked for the case to be adjourned so her client could put his affairs in order before he is jailed.

She said his wife suffers from Huntingdon's Disease, a degenerative neurological condition, and was unaware of what was going on.

Williams was released to not contact with the complainant or have contact with children under the age of 16.

He must also register as a sex offender with the total period he must remain doing so determined by the sentence he receives when he returns on Thursday October 15.

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  • Marlborough-2013-04-18 St Peters
  • Town-Hall-2011-05-03 08-
  • IMG 9097
  • IMG 8472
  • Silbury-Sunset---10-06-08-----07