Rapist, 76, was just 13 when he started sickening attacks and is now behind bars

A 76-year-old man who first raped a girl at the age of 13 has been jailed for 20 years after his victims came forward.

Ian Crawford raped his first victim for years in a “disturbing and outrageous” display of abuse that only ended when he left Greater Manchester to join the RAF.

He then began sexually assaulting his second victim – then aged 10 – when he moved back to the area in the 1960s, Manchester Evening News reports.

Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court heard the girl was raped repeatedly over several years before once again, Crawford left the area.

Crawford, who denies all offences, was found guilty of nine separate counts of rape of a child, and sentenced to six years behind bars for one victim, and 14 for the second.

Kayleigh Wiggins, of Greater Manchester Police, said the women were subjected to the “most traumatic, abhorrent and humiliating experiences as little girls,” and added that it impacted them for life.

Mr Wiggins also praised the women for being brave enough to come forward and urged others to “take strength” and “contact police” if need be.

He said: "What they have had to live with during all this time is utterly incomprehensible, but they were magnificent throughout this investigation in giving evidence and persevering throughout to ensure that this monster's truly vulgar atrocities were recognised by the court and justice served.

"I have never quite seen such a disturbing and outrageous case of this nature and Crawford was a free man for far too long before this verdict; it is high time that he is recognised as the sexual predator that he is, regardless of how long ago it occurred.

"These women were subjected to the most traumatic, abhorrent and humiliating experiences as little girls and it has impacted them for life.

"I urge anyone who is particularly affected by this case to take strength from these two women's courage and contact police in the strictest confidence."

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Police first became aware of Crawford's crimes in 2018 when a victim contacted authorities after hearing a radio advert for a support programme called the "Truth Project."

Crawford was first interviewed in early 2018 and denied all allegations and was interviewed a second time later that year after a second victim came forward.

He was arrested once again and gave a no comment interview and was subsequently charged in 2019.

The paedo's case was delayed due to Covid-19 but he was ultimately found guilty on November 30 of nine counts of rape of a child under 13.

An NSPCC spokesman said: "The impact of Crawford’s prolonged campaigns of abuse have affected his two victims for more than five decades, but thanks to their courage he has now faced justice.

"This case shows that no matter when an incident took place, seeking support can be the first step towards ensuring abusers like Crawford are held responsible for their appalling offences, and we hope these brave women are now receiving the support they need."

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