Paedophile sexually abused children over nearly two decades

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Derby Crown Court
Image caption,
The trial at Derby Crown Court saw 14 victims give evidence against Andrew Ditchfield

A man has been convicted of sexually abusing children at homes, campsites and leisure facilities over nearly two decades.

Police said Andrew Ditchfield started targeting young people in Derby from 1992 before moving to Lincolnshire where his offending continued.

The 53-year-old denied 43 offences, including rape and sexual assault, against 14 victims.

He was convicted of 43 at Derby Crown Court on Friday after a trial.

Ditchfield, of Fourways, Tetney, Lincolnshire, has been remanded in custody and is due to be sentenced on 4 October.

'Utter disregard'

Ditchfield's offending came to light after a victim reported him to the force.

Derbyshire Police said officers found he had abused 12 boys and two girls between 1992 and 2011.

Ditchfield was arrested and charged last year.

Many of the 14 victims who gave evidence during his two-month trial now suffer with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and drink and drug addictions, the force added.

Det Sgt Ritchie Parkins, from Derbyshire Police, said: "Ditchfield's refusal to take any responsibility for the damage he wrought on these young people's lives shows his utter disregard for anyone other than himself.

"However, the truth has now been found.

"The reason Ditchfield is now behind bars is due to the character and resilience of the survivors of his abuse.

"To stand in court and give evidence against this man who has caused such hurt is humbling and I cannot speak highly enough of every one of them."

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