Wiltshire

Child rapist Peter Daniels handed six life terms

Peter Daniels child rapist jailed in October 2017,for 12 offences second set of charges were brought in Dec 2018 of 78 offences Image copyright Wiltshire Police
Image caption Peter Daniels was known in the local community as 'Uncle Peter'

A predatory paedophile known to local children as "Uncle Peter" has been handed six life sentences.

Pete Daniels, 70, from Wiltshire, used the persona to win the trust of parents and their children, police said.

Daniels, who was already serving a 12-year term for rape and other sex offences against girls, admitted 78 further charges involving 22 children.

A judge at Winchester Crown Court said he had "never encountered sexual abuse on such a relentless scale".

His victims in the latest case were aged between two and 13.

'Classic grooming'

Police said he "created" the Uncle Peter character to portray himself as "a caring pillar of the community".

He made his home as welcoming as possible for children by stocking it with treats, said detectives.

Between 2008 and 2017, he took children out on day trips, bought them presents and gave them money.

He would also provide babysitting services, pick them up from school and have sleepovers for them at his house, the court heard.

This was described as "classic grooming behaviour" in court.

The full extent of Daniels' crimes was only uncovered after his first conviction.

When his home was searched, police found a collection of children's toothbrushes and dressing gowns.

Image copyright Wiltshire Police
Image caption Children's toothbrushes were found at Daniel's home

In victim impact statements read out in court, one mother said: "I can't begin to describe the trauma and damage he's caused my children."

One father said: "I classed him as a friend. I feel guilty, useless and I feel as if I've failed as a parent…. My wife and I don't sleep at night."

Image copyright Wiltshire Police
Image caption The child rapist made his home welcoming for children with child-friendly treats
Image copyright Wiltshire Police
Image caption A selection of girls' dressing gowns were also found at his home

Det Sgt Eirin Martin said: "He created an environment within his home that was welcoming to children.

"He created a persona of being Uncle Peter, a caring pillar of the community, someone that supported children, provided for them, gave them emotional, physical, and monetary support.

"That was his way of grooming and manipulating not only the children but the families as well."

As well as the six life sentences, Daniels was handed 72 jail sentences ranging from four months to 16 years which will run concurrently.

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