Paedophile jailed for sex crimes

A paedophile who raped and sexually assaulted women and girls for more than 40 years used his victims' religious beliefs as Jehovah's Witnesses to keep his crimes a secret.

George Cockerill, 78, was jailed indefinitely after admitting 19 rapes, four counts of sexual activity with a child, six counts of indecency with a child, one sex assault and two counts of indecency with a child.

Hull Crown Court was told he'd made one victim pray following an assault while another tried to get help from elders, to no avail.

Sentencing, Judge Roger Thorn QC said Cockerill he was a terrible hypocrite who had caused "untold misery" by using religion to control his victims, adding: "As one victim said you have stolen her childhood.

Cockerill, of Hull, was sentenced to imprisonment for public protection for a minimum of six years and will not be released until the Parole Board believes he is no longer a danger.

Steven Garth, mitigating, said: "He is desperately sorry for what he has done."

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