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A “repulsive” couple who sexually and mentally abused children have been jailed for 35 years.
Nicholas Harris, 54, and Claire Buttice, 41, were jailed for 23 years and 12 years respectively for abuse that was described as “degrading” in court.
Bedfordshire Police launched an investigation after the victims came forward to report their ordeal, which also included physical violence and abuse.
The couple, from Bedford, will have to serve at least two-thirds of their sentence before they are considered for release.
They must register as sex offenders indefinitely and are banned from having any contact with the victims.
Detective Constable Nina Bradbury, from Bedfordshire Police’s Protecting Vulnerable People (PVP) team, led the investigation.
“This was a horrific series of crimes, in which children were exploited into performing acts for the offenders’ sexual gratification,” she said.
“These offences have had a significant impact on the victims, and they will carry this trauma with them for the rest of their lives.
“I am pleased the courts have issued such a strong custodial sentence and that this repulsive pair will spend a long time behind bars.
“This case was a lengthy and complex investigation, and is just one of many which demonstrates our commitment to tackling offenders and keeping children safe.
“Protecting children from this kind of sickening abuse is absolutely imperative – and work that needs our collective effort to succeed.
“Our specialist officers and partnership services will continue to work with and support the victims as they try to move on with their lives.
“But if you have concerns that a child is being neglected, exploited or abused, these concerns are too important not to share. We must all play our part in protecting children.”
Anyone with any information or concerns about child sexual abuse can contact the police on 101 or online.
Alternatively you can visit NSPCC for further help, information or support.
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