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Congleton man jailed for string of non-recent sex offences

A 60-year-old man from Congleton has been jailed for 30 years after being found guilty of a string of sex offences.

Eric Mottershead of no fixed address was found guilty of 29 of the 35 offences following a three-week trial in March.

The offences included rape, indecent assault, assault of a child under 13 by penetration, assault by penetration and taking indecent photos of a child.

Mottershead appeared at Chester Crown Court on Friday 5 July to be sentenced to 30 years in prison and two years on an extended licence. He was also given a restraining order and made subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life.

The offences related to four children between 2001 And 2007 in the Congleton area.

On 8 September 2020 one of the victims came forward to Cheshire Police reporting that they had been abused when they were a child by Mottershead.

Mottershead was subsequently arrested on 16 September 2020, his house was searched and a number of devices were seized.  These proved pivotal to the case. They were later examined by the Digital Investigation Unit and numerous indecent images of children were recovered.

Investigating officer DC Lee Ferris, now a Sergeant, went on to discover a further three victims over the course of the investigation.  Each victim was approached, and each provided video evidence to Cheshire Police.

Over the course of a 12-month period, Sergeant Ferris interviewed Mottershead on four separate occasion and each time he strongly denied the offences that were put to him.  He claimed each victim had made it all up and colluded with each other to bring him down.  Evidence including the indecent images on his phones and computer devices proved that this was not the case.

In January 2022, the Crown Prosecution Service authorised the charges against Mottershead and he was released with bail conditions not to contact the victims. 

Due to the complexity of this case, a trial at Chester Crown Court did not take place until March 2024.  During that time, Sergeant Ferris transferred from Cheshire Constabulary to Greater Manchester Police, but the officer refused to pass on the case to someone else and he remained in touch with each victim.  He worked closely with detectives from Macclesifeld LPU to get the case to Chester Crown Court.

Sergeant Ferris said:

“I’d like to thank the victims for their bravery in coming forward and speaking out about the abuse they suffered.

“Mottershead is now paying the price for preying on them when they were children and carrying out horrific and degrading acts on them.

“I’m hoping that getting justice will help them in some way and encourages others who have been subjected to such abuse to come forward, no matter how long ago the abuse was. You will be taken seriously. You will be supported. And we will do everything we possibly can to get justice for you.”

Pictured - Eric Mottershead of no fixed address.

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