Paedophile jailed for 17 years

PUBLISHED: 16:42 22 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:35 26 October 2009

A "grossly perverted paedophile" who took a girl to the basement of a derelict house to be abused by other men has been jailed for 17 years. Hatfield man David Shepherd plied three girls with sweets before subjecting them to a campaign of abuse

A "grossly perverted paedophile" who took a girl to the basement of a derelict house to be abused by other men has been jailed for 17 years.

Hatfield man David Shepherd plied three girls with sweets before subjecting them to a "campaign of abuse" for more than a decade.

He locked one of his victims in the basement of a derelict house so he and his friends could sexually assault her, Southwark Crown Court heard.

A jury took nine hours to convict the decorator of five counts of rape, 13 counts of indecent assault and one count of buggery.

Judge John Price sentencing, said: "You behaved as a grossly perverted paedophile.

"You threatened to kill them if they told and they haven't told, not for nearly 35 years.

"'One of them went to the police and the whole grisly tale came out and they had to re-tell it in court, which they did with dignity but which caused them the most pain.

"No words of mine are adequate to describe what we have heard in this court."

Shepherd showed no emotion as Judge Price told him there was "no mitigation" for what he had done.

The allegations only came to light in 2006 when the second of Shepherd's victims went to the police at the age of 40.

The first victim was abused on an almost weekly basis and had to have an abortion at the age of 14 after Shepherd raped her.

In later years the woman told her husband about the horrific abuse she suffered as a youngster.

When he was confronted with the allegations Shepherd said he "had been working on the children since they were little".

The younger of the victims was first raped when she was just nine.

The defendant's brother and two friends sat emotionless in the public gallery as the sentence was passed.

Shepherd, 56, of Stonecross Road, denied five counts of rape, one of buggery and 13 of indecent assault - variously relating to the victims - between 1972 and 1986.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Welwyn Hatfield Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Welwyn Hatfield Times