Potters Bar paedophile found guilty of eight counts of historic sexual offences

PUBLISHED: 16:06 17 February 2020 | UPDATED: 16:41 17 February 2020

84-year-old Maurice Willis was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court in London. Picture: Yui Mok/PA

84-year-old Maurice Willis was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court in London. Picture: Yui Mok/PA

Yui Mok/PA

A Potters Bar paedophile has been jailed for historic sexual offences committed against young girls in London and Hertfordshire that date back to 1965.

Maurice Henry Willis, 84, of Shillitoe Avenue, was sentenced to eight years at Southwark Crown Court on Friday, February 7.

He was found guilty of six counts of indecent assault of a child aged under 14 and of two counts of indecent assault of a female under 16.

The court heard how Willis abused two victims from the mid-1960s over a prolonged period of time. The victims were aged between five and 15-years-old at the time.

Detectives in the Met's Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Unit began their investigation in March 2017, after one victim reported the incidents which had taken place during her childhood to police.

A second victim, a woman now in her 30s, was approached and was willing to assist police with their investigation.

Willis was interviewed in September 2017, where he denied the allegations of sexual abuse.

But Willis was charged with eight counts of indecent assault relating to girls under the age of 16 on July, 5 2019.

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On August 30, he pleaded not guilty to all the offences at Southwark Crown Court, but was subsequently found guilty.

Commenting, Detective Constable Vicky Wiltshire of the Met's Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command said: "I would like to thank all of the families involved in this investigation - without their courage, bravery and resilience this outcome would not have been possible.

"Willis has caused immense distress and trauma for the victims and their families and I hope his sentence will go towards providing some closure for them.

"He may have abused more victims, and I would urge any other potential victims to come forward and contact police as soon as possible."

Willis has now been issued with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, preventing him from having unsupervised contact with people under 18 and he will be a registered sex offender for life.

Anyone with information of a potential victim is asked to contact DC Vicky Wiltshire or DC Jo Williams on 101.

Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously via 0800 555 111.

Commenting on the conviction, an NSPCC spokesperson said: "Thanks to the courage of both his victims, who have lived with the consequences of these horrific actions for many years, Willis has now been brought to justice.

"We want survivors of child sexual abuse to know they will be listened to, regardless of how many years have passed since the offences took place, or who the abuser is.

"They can speak in confidence to trained counsellors at the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000, while Childline is there for young people on 0800 1111 or childline.org.uk."

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