Gloucestershire

Tribute to Gloucester paedophile Stephen Ford's victims

Stephen Ford
Image caption Ford was jailed for 12 years

Police have paid tribute to the courage of three women who spoke out about a paedophile from Gloucester.

Stephen Ford, 46, of Stroud Road, was sentenced to 12 years in prison at Gloucester Crown Court on Monday.

He had previously admitted 15 counts of sexual abuse, some of the offences dating back more than 30 years.

Det Con Sarah Ward from Gloucestershire Constabulary said the victims' evidence proved crucial to the success of the case.

'Lives destroyed'

She said: "I must pay tribute to the courage these victims showed in speaking out.

"Their evidence was vital, and I hope their bravery encourages others who have suffered in the same way to come forward and identify their abusers.

"Ford destroyed these women's lives and each of them bears the psychological scars of what he did.

"The trauma they continue to suffer makes it even more admirable that they were able to give such clear recollections."

Ford admitted seven counts of indecent assault, committed between 1980 and 1983.

He also admitted three counts of indecent assault, between 1994 and 1996, as well as three counts of assault by penetration and two of sexual assault, committed between 2007 and 2010.

One of Ford's victims is now aged 15, one is in her 20s and one is in her 40s.

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