Guilty verdict in child sex abuse trial

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A MAN who systematically sexually abused young children up to 35 years ago has been found guilty of 18 offences by a jury.

Gary Auker, who gave his address as Kent Close, Sutton Bridge, was convicted by Norwich Crown Court of 17 indecent assaults and one attempted rape on Thursday and will be remanded in custody until July 22, when he is due to be sentenced,

Police were finally alerted to 51-year-old Auker’s crimes decades after the attacks when two women and a man met online through Facebook and realised they had all been abused by Auker who, at the time, lived in King’s Lynn.

The offences were said to have taken place between August 1975 and February 1990.

Victims told how they were abused in the toilet at his former home, other parts of the house and in a car.

Recorder Mark Dennis QC said he remanded Auker in custody “given the nature of the case.”

Police said in a statement after Auker’s conviction: “The investigation began in August 2010 and has involved extensive enquiries due to the time that has elapsed. By pleading not guilty Auker forced the victims to relive the ordeal in court which has proved immensely stressful.

“We would like to commend the witnesses and victims in this case for their bravery and courage - we will always carry out a thorough investigation no matter how long after the alleged offence and to bring justice to those who abuse and mistreat children.”

When arrested, Auker branded the allegations “ridiculous”. The jury heard how he was adamant he hadn’t done “anything to anyone.”

He told jurors when he gave evidence: “They’ve probably put their heads together.”

He added: “I never had any opportunity to touch children as they allege. One of the women started it off on Facebook and she’s lying. I’d parted on good terms with them (years ago).”

William Carter, QC., defending, told jurors “there could have been collusion” before police were told about the allegations.