A retired police sergeant who was extradited from Australia and convicted of child sex abuse committed in Britain has been jailed for 18 years.

Jeffrey Lake, 78, was arrested at his home in Queensland to stand trial in England on the historical offences, the vast majority of which were committed when he was a serving police officer in Accrington, Lancashire, and Liverpool.

The defendant had emigrated to Australia in 2002 and had been living there for seven years when one of his two victims walked into a police station in Lancashire and said Lake had sexually and physically abused her as a child.

The woman was interviewed at length and when the investigation widened, a man came forward and said he too had been abused by the defendant, Preston Crown Court in Lancashire was told.

He was arrested in Peregian Springs on the Sunshine Coast earlier this year and taken to Britain where he denied the allegations against him, said to have taken place in the 1960s and early `70s.

Last week a jury unanimously found him guilty of 20 charges of historical abuse including rape, buggery, indecency with a child, indecent assault and child cruelty.

In sentencing him, Justice King said each offence was a "serious example" of sexual and physical abuse which was committed in a sustained way.

Each of the two complainants had been deprived of achieving their full potential in adulthood as a consequence, he added.

The judge continued: "Each has suffered from deep depression over the years. Each has felt suicidal and attempted suicide.

"I have no doubt that the major cause of all their lifelong problems is the abuse each suffered at your hands."

He observed that Lake had shown "no contrition" and "no remorse" for the "deep and long-lasting" effects he had caused.

Lake was sentenced to 18 years in jail for the rape of the female complainant when she was a child.

He received concurrent sentences of the same length for two other counts of rape and received concurrent terms of between 18 months and 13 years for the remaining offences.

Both complainants gave victim impact statements which were partly read out in court.

Lake's lawyer, Matthew Lawson, asked for his client's age and his ongoing problems with diabetes to be taken into account in fixing the jail term.

A lengthy sentence would mean it was likely he would die in prison, he argued.

Justice King told the court that the 18-year term would have been "justifiably longer" if Lake had been younger.

He took into account that he was a man of previous good character and had an unblemished record in the police force.

Lake was also disqualified from working with children and cannot have any unsupervised contact with children except with the permission of a youngster's parent or guardian and the express approval of social services in the area.

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