Harlow: Man found guilty of non-recent child abuse
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A man has been sentenced to six years in prison following impressive investigative work from our Quest team.
Geoffrey Rance, 61 of School Lane, Harlow has been jailed after being found guilty of non-recent sexual abuse of a child.
The victim bravely disclosed to Essex Police in 2020 that Rance had subjected her to three years of abuse, beginning in 2000 when she was just 11-years-old. An investigation was launched by Quest, who specialise in investigating any case of sexual abuse where the offence is over a year old.
Rance attended Harlow Police Station for a voluntary interview in July 2020 and was formally charged in October 2021 with two counts of gross indecency with a girl under 14 and one count of indecent assault on a girl under 14.
Following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court where Rance continued to deny all offences, he was convicted on 25 November 2022 and required to sign on the Sex Offenders Register.
Rance appeared in court on Tuesday 20 December where he was sentenced to six years in prison and issued with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
Investigating Officer, Temporary Detective Sergeant Ed Massey said:
“The actions of Rance have caused a lifelong impact to the victim. "Rance’s refusal to plead guilty to his crimes meant the victim had to go through the stressful process of a court trial. "We did everything possible to try to make this easier for the victim, including using a video recording of the victim giving their account, and implementing special measures in court such as screens. “I want to commend the victim on her bravery throughout the process, and hope that the court result and sentence will allow her to move forward with her life.”
Justice for victims
Detective Sergeant Shirley Cole, from the Quest team, said:
“The Quest team is made up of dedicated, specialist officers who work day-in, day-out to get justice for victims. Our work shows that just because sexual abuse took place decades ago, it doesn’t mean that you have any less of a right to have someone who abused you held to account. "I would urge anyone who was abused as a child to come forward and report to us what happened to them.”
Synergy Essex provides support and guidance for survivors of sexual and sexual abuse across Essex.
The Essex Rape Crisis Partnership is formed of three organisations:
CARA (Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse) who cover mid and north Essex.
SERICC (Rape and Sexual Abuse Specialist Service) who cover South and West Essex.
SOS Rape Crisis who cover Southend, Castle Point and Rochford.
Survivors can self-refer and receive emotional support, specialist sexual violence and abuse counselling and or specialist advocacy services, no matter when the sexual violence or abuse occurred. In addition to this, they also offer support to survivor’s loved ones.