Police praise victims as ‘harrowing’ and ‘traumatic’ sex case is resolved

Lincoln Crown Court.
Lincoln Crown Court.
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Detectives have paid tribute to the victims of a sexual predator from Bourne now serving a 14-year jail term.

Phillip Belcher (49) of Stephenson Way was sentenced at Lincoln Crown Court last Monday at the end of a “harrowing case for everyone involved”, according to Detective Sergeant Claire Hammond of Lincolnshire Police’s Public Protection Unit.

Belcher, who was arrested in July, charged and kept in custody, admitted separate rape and sexual assault charges on girls aged under 13, taking indecent images of a child and inciting a girl aged under 13 to take part in sexual activity.

As well as the 14-year jail term, Belcher was also placed on extended licence for another eight years meaning that he is at risk of being sent back to prison until 2036.

Det Sgt Hammond said: “This was a harrowing case for everyone involved but the victims have shown great strength and bravery in standing up to ensure Belcher is brought to justice for these offences.

“Experienced detectives have been moved by the strength of the victims and their families, along with the traumatic nature of Belcher’s offending.

“This case was not straightforward due to the vast areas of the country that the offending had occurred over a sustained period.

“Lincolnshire Police will support all victims by listening and ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to speak out against this type of offending, immaterial of when or where this has happened.

“We hope this conviction demonstrates that anyone offending against children will be brought to justice.”