A former soldier who committed a catalogue of horrifying sex offences against children over a 33 year period has been jailed for 20 years.
Leeds Crown Court heard yesterday Colin Haddlesey’s offending began in the 1960s and ended with raping a teenage girl in the late 90s but only came to light earlier this year after two of his victims spoke together.
That was the first time each realised they were not alone in being abused by him and he was reported to the police.
Others then came forward to say they, too, had been abused, some when he was a soldier home on leave.
Haddlesey, 63 of Fisher Way, Heckmondwike, admitted three charges of rape, one of possessing an imitation firearm with intent and 21 other sex offences on seven children and one adult.
Sentencing him Judge Tom Bayliss QC said he accepted Haddlesey was only a teenager himself when the offending began but as he grew older he had continued to commit sexual crimes with increasing depravity on defenceless and vulnerable children.
“You threatened them into committing gross acts and you threatened them into silence.”
Michael Collins, representing him, said his guilty pleas reflected “his true remorse”.
He said Haddlesey was now suffering from a form of Parkinson’s disease and wanted to offer his “heartfelt apologies to the victims and their families”.