An 85-year-old man who raped and sexually abused girls over seven decades is likely to spend the rest of his life in prison.
William Clapham had committed 20 counts of sex offences, against seven girls and one boy.
He was today (3rd June) sentenced to 15 years and two months in prison meaning, in all probability, he will never again be a free man. He was also given an extended licence period of two years and placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.
The trial for 85-year-old Clapham, of Drift Avenue, Stamford, began on 12th April at Lincoln Crown Court, with the jury returning a guilty verdict on 29th April.
The charges included rape, attempted rape, indecent assault, causing a child to watch a sexual act and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
The offending investigated by Lincolnshire Police spanned a period of seven decades from the late 1950s to 2013.
When sentencing, Judge Catarina Sjolin Knight said: “You have been a predatory paedophile for almost the whole of your adult life.”
Following the court hearing, Investigating Officer DC Helen Morris, of the Protecting Vulnerable Persons Unit, said: “Clapham has inflicted truly devastating suffering and pain on so many innocent lives.
“We would like to pay tribute to the incredible bravery of the victims, whose assistance has helped to bring Clapham to justice today.
“The verdict and sentence will never make up for what he has done, but we hope that this at least brings some comfort and closure to those affected.”
If you have been a victim of rape or sexual assault
If you have been a victim of rape or sexual assault remember that what has happened is not your fault. You are not to blame and there is help for you.
If you are hurt and need medical attention, call 999 and ask for an ambulance or go to your local Accident and Emergency department. Otherwise, go somewhere where you feel safe.
Try not to be alone. See if a friend or someone you trust can be with you. Talk to someone about what has happened. In addition to this, or if you don’t feel like talking to a friend or family member yet, please consider contacting the sexual assault referral clinic Spring Lodge or Lincolnshire Rape Crisis.
To report any recent or non-recent incidents to us call 101 or 999 if it’s an emergency. We have specially trained Officers to investigate and support you through the process.