Ex-policeman Jeffrey Lake on child abuse charges

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A former police sergeant has been charged with 20 sexual and cruelty offences against children following his extradition from Australia, police say.

Jeffrey Lake, 77, is said to have committed the crimes against two alleged victims between 1960 and 1975.

Lancashire Police confirmed he was serving with the force at the time and lived in the Accrington area.

He was arrested by police in Australia in January on suspicion of the sexual and physical abuse of children.

He was held at his address in Peregian Springs on Queensland's Sunshine Coast before being extradited to Britain, where he was charged on Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for Lancashire Police said: "He is charged with seven offences of indecent assault on a girl under 13, four offences of gross indecency on a girl under 14, two counts of rape of a girl under 16, one count of rape of a girl over 16, one offence of gross indecency on a boy under 14, three offences of cruelty on a person under 16, and two other sexual offences."

He appeared at Blackburn Magistrates' Court earlier and was remanded to appear at Burnley Crown Court on 10 April.

Mr Lake, who has also lived in Oldham and Maghull, retired in 1990 and emigrated to Australia in 2002.

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