A ‘SELFISH and manipulative’ man has been sentenced to 13 years imprisonment after pleading guilty to eight charges of sexual offences against children aged 6-13.
Stephen Michael Stowell, of Meadow Grove, Northwich, previously of Chester, Crewe, Wirral and Penrith, was sentenced last week at Chester Crown Court.
Stowell, 43, appeared at court charged with offences of buggery, indecent assault and gross indecency relating to incidents which occurred between 1991 and 1999 in Chester and Penrith.
Detective Constable Brendan Crilley, of the Western Area Public Protection Unit, said: “Stowell committed a disturbing sequence of offences over a prolonged period during the 1990s.
“The innocence of the children involved was betrayed in this case and the sentence reflects the vile nature of the offences committed.
“Stowell acted in a selfish and manipulative manner with the sole purpose of sexual gratification. The children, now adults, have displayed remarkable courage to stand up and face him. They have relived horrific and disturbing memories to ensure that no other children are subjected to such atrocity.
“Although I give no credit to Stowell, I feel it is important to acknowledge his willingness to talk and his early guilty plea which lessened further suffering and anguish to the families involved.
“He has acted positively throughout the investigation and this should serve as encouragement to perpetrators of similar crimes who want to come forward and speak to the police in an effort to deal with issues from the past.”
As well as facing a lengthy period behind bars, Stowell has been disqualified from working with children and will spend the rest of his life on the sex offenders’ register.
DC Crilley added: “The courage of the people involved in this case is a clear message to all victims and to all offenders of child sexual abuse.
“The message is a simple one – children can talk and we will listen.
“We will identify child sex offenders, fully investigate any allegations and work tirelessly to ensure justice is done.
“This conviction shows just how seriously Cheshire Police and the Criminal Justice System view sexual offences against children and I would encourage any victims of this type of offence to come forward and contact Cheshire Police on 0845 458 0000 or via Crimestoppers, anonymously if necessary, on 0800 555 111.”