Paedophile jailed for 17 years after ‘horrific sexual abuse’ of schoolgirl

Bernard Taylor was handed an 18-year sentence at Norwich Crown Court

Bernard Taylor was handed an 18-year sentence after jurors found him guilty of eight counts of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 14 and one count of attempting to rape a woman over the age of 16. - Credit: Handout via Cambridgeshire Police

A 73-year-old paedophile who sexually abused a Cambridgeshire schoolgirl for eight years in the 1980s has been brought to justice more than three decades later. 

Bernard Taylor’s “horrific” abuse of the girl in Peterborough continued until she became an older teenager and he tried to rape her. 

The historic offences only came to light in 2018 when Taylor’s victim confided in someone she knew. 

Taylor, now of Lisnamon Court, Londonderry, was interviewed but gave a prepared statement in which he denied any involvement in the abuse and claimed his victim was lying. 

He also claimed he had never been sexually attracted to children at any stage of his life. 

The 73-year-old stood trial at Norwich Crown Court in November, where jurors found him guilty of eight counts of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 14 and one count of attempting to rape a woman over the age of 16. 

He was handed an 18-year sentence at the same court on Wednesday (March 9), comprising a 17-year jail term and one year on licence.  

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Taylor was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register indefinitely. 

DC Sian Thomas, who investigated, said: “Taylor’s horrific sexual abuse of his victim went undetected for decades and I am pleased he has finally been brought to justice. 

“Regardless of when it happened, we will always take reports of sexual offences, including child sex abuse, very seriously. 

“Protecting young people from harm is one of our top priorities and we have specially trained officers who are there to support victims and bring offenders to justice. 

“Taylor’s abuse has had a huge impact on his victim, who is now an adult, and I hope she can find some closure to this traumatic period of her life.” 

Anyone who is concerned someone may have been convicted of a sex offence, and could be posing a risk to a child, can apply for disclosure information through Sarah’s Law. 

Anyone who looks out for the welfare of a child can make an enquiry. This can include parents, carers, guardians, extended family, friends and neighbours.