John Burden from Dunstable sentenced to 20 years in jail

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A Dunstable father-of-14 has been jailed for 20 years after being convicted of a string of rapes.

John Burden, 49, of Maidenbower Avenue, was convicted of nine counts of rape and sexual abuse today following a two week trial at Luton Crown Court.

Burden abused the women over a period of time, grooming them and raping them both while they were under the age of 16.

The court heard he had inflicted “abhorrent sexual abuse” against them.

Det Insp Jenni McIntyre-Smith said: “First of all we want to thank the women for the bravery they showed in coming forward. It’s been incredibly difficult for them to relive the harrowing experiences they suffered at the hands of Burden but hopefully today’s guilty verdict and sentencing will help them move forward.

“Burden’s abuse of these women was sickening, and no-one should have to suffer such atrocities.”

In total Burden was found guilty of five counts of rape and four counts of sexual assault.

The 20 year sentence, plus five years on license, will commence after he has served the four remaining years of his sentence for violent disorder, which he received in January.

If anyone has any concerns or information following the court case, they are asked to contact the Op Cresta team at Bedfordshire Police on 101.

An NSPCC spokesman said: “The horrific experiences these women endured has no doubt left a long lasting impact on their lives.

“This case is a tragic example of what sexual predators can do to children who are too fearful to speak out.

“Burden was convicted for his crimes decades later, which shows how cunning offenders can be.

“Today shows complaints will be taken seriously and that criminals like Burden can be held to account, however long after abuse has happened.

“For help and support children can contact ChildLine 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 0800 1111 or by visiting www.childline.org.uk.”