A man convicted of 20 historic rapes and sexual assaults against children has been handed an extended sentence of 25 years following an investigation by Northamptonshire Police.
Stamford man Peter David Freeman, aged 72, was reported to the Force in 2017 by two women who revealed he repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted them in Raunds and a village in east Northamptonshire between 1975 and 1988.
Investigations by the Force’s SOLAR team, which deals with rape and serious sexual assault cases, led to Freeman being charged with 10 counts of rape against a child under 16 and six counts of indecent assault against a child under 14, before two further victims came forward in 2020, resulting in a further five charges of indecent assault.
Freeman, of Northumberland Avenue, Stamford, , was found guilty of all but one charge of indecent assault in April following a trial, and returned to court on Friday, September 10, for sentencing.
Her Honour Judge Adrienne Lucking QC noted Freeman’s victims had been targeted between the ages of three and 15, and detailed how his abuse had left them grieving for the lives they should have had, causing severe psychological harm and life-long after-effects.
She told him: “This was a 13-year campaign of rape and indecent assault against young children when you were in a position of trust.
“Your sexual interest in children is deeply ingrained and demonstrated over many years.”
The judge concluded that he posed such a risk to young children that an extended sentence, reserved for those considered to be dangerous and posing a significant risk to the public, was required.
Freeman was given nine separate sentences for the 20 offences, all to be served concurrently. This means he will serve, in total, an overall extended sentence of 25 years, of which 22 will be custodial, with a further three on licence.
He can only apply to be considered for release after serving at least two-thirds of the custodial element, and will then remain on licence for the remainder of the custodial sentence plus the further three years.
Freeman will also be on the sex offenders register for life and barred from working with children.
Investigating officer DC Colleen White, of the SOLAR team, said: “I am so pleased with this sentence, and hope it offers some comfort to the victims, who have shown nothing but class and courage in seeing this case through to its conclusion.
“Peter Freeman’s vile offending robbed these women of their childhoods as he inflicted repeated abuses on them, scaring them into silence for many years and leaving them forever changed.
“That they were eventually able to reveal what he put them through and report it to police is testament to their bravery and determination to see justice done.
“I hope this sentence brings them some comfort and helps them to move forward. It also goes to show that it is never too late to bring predators like this to account.
“If you have been subjected to any form of sexual abuse, regardless of when it took place, I would urge you to report it to police. We will believe you, we will support you, and we will do all we can to make sure those responsible pay for their crimes.”
Report non-emergency crime by calling 101 or online at www.northants.police.uk/RO. In an emergency always dial 999.
Find advice and support, including on how to report rape or sexual assault, here: https://www.northants.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/rsa/rape-and-sexual-assault/
*This press release and custody image have been released with the support and agreement of the victims*