Former policeman from Accrington faces child rape case
A 78-YEAR-OLD former police officer appeared in court charged with 'appalling' sexual and physical offences against two children.
Jeffrey Lake, from Accrington, is on trial at Preston Crown Court charged with 20 offences dating back to 1956.
The alleged offences took place at different addresses in Accrington and Oswaldtwistle during the 1950s, 60s and 70s.
Barrister Louise Whaites told the court how the pensioner raped his victims on numerous occasions. The court was told that offences included sexual touching of a four-year-old girl, indecent assault of a 13-year-old girl, buggery of a male victim, rape and sexual penetration.
The court heard the defendant had emigrated to Australia and had been living there for seven years when one of his alleged victims walked into a police station and said Lake had sexually and physically abused her throughout her childhood.
The woman was interviewed at length and when the investigation widened a second person claimed he too had been abused by the defendant, Preston Crown Court was told. The defendant denies the charges. Prosecutor Louise Whaites said the alleged victim went on to suffer from depression and anxiety and had attempted suicide — as had the alleged male victim in the case.
“She was clearly unable to cope with what happened to her,” she said.
Speaking to the jury, Miss Whaites said: “It is the crown's case that both victims were subjected to quite appalling abuse, which over many years they have found very difficult to come to terms with.
“Over the years one of the victims has continued to struggle with what happened during their childhood and has tried more than on one occasion to take his own life.”