Life for child rapist

Peter Maxwell, aged 67, from Carlisle, was yesterday, December 15 handed an indeterminate life sentence for crimes relating to the sexual abuse of young boys, which date back to the 1980's.

Maxwell was sentenced for 24 separate counts in all, for crimes including rape, attempted rape, inciting a boy to conduct sexual activity, taking indecent images of children, engaging in sexual activity with a child and possession of indecent images.

The charges followed an investigation by Cumbria Constabulary’s Public Protection Unit, which was sparked when a man reported having been abused by Maxwell when he was a child at a boarding school in Cumbria and Maxwell was working there as a matron.

Detective Inspector Nick Coughlan said: “This was a comprehensive investigation in which dedicated officers from the Public Protection Unit had to investigate historical offences and identify victims from the images on Maxwell’s computer.

“It highlights how, through the courage of one victim, others found the confidence to speak about their abuse at the hands of this offender and through the support of our trained officers, victims, who were identified via images, were able to speak about their abuse.

“Maxwell preyed on vulnerable families, some of which had been through traumatic events, to gain access to his victims. He abused a position of trust in the worse possible way.

“When victims find the courage and confidence to come forward and speak about their abuse, they are believed, and thorough investigations take place to prove exactly what has happened so that offenders have to face the consequences of their actions in court.

“I would like to take this opportunity to encourage any victims who have been abused by any offender to contact the police so we can bring their abusers to justice as well as preventing further innocent victims being abused in the future.”

During sentencing, Judge Batty remarked that this case was “truly shocking”, and went on to describe a collection of indecent images discovered on Maxwell’s computer by detectives as a “library of depravity”.