Coventry rapist gets 27 years for attacks on girls

Image source, West Midlands Police
Image caption,
Christopher Hughes was convicted by unanimous verdict

A man has been jailed for 27 years after being convicted of raping and sexually assaulting four young girls.

Christopher Hughes was found guilty of 14 sexual offences against the girls, aged between nine and 14, between 1998 and 2007.

The 34-year-old from Bliss Close, in Coventry, "systematically took advantage of" each victim, police said.

He was convicted by a unanimous verdict at Warwickshire Justice Centre of rape, attempted rape and other sex offences.

'Very frightened'

One victim came forward in 2007 but there was insufficient evidence to bring Hughes to trial, the court heard.

But he was arrested in June 2015 after further victims reported abuse and the Crown Prosecution Service proceeded with the case.

Jailing him on Friday after a two-week trial, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano said: "When you offend in this way against young girls, you ruin their childhood and you introduce them to a world where adults do not protect them."

Det Con Clive Leftwich, from West Midlands Police, added: "Hughes took advantage of these girls from a very young age, at a time when they would have been very frightened about what was happening and scared to tell anyone, believing that they were in some way to blame."

Hughes has also been put on the sex offenders register for life.

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