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Posted on Monday 22 November 2021

Detectives have praised three brave sexual abuse survivors who saw their attacker jailed on Friday.

The women, who were all children at the time of the historic attacks, showed enormous courage when they gave evidence against former vicar, Richard Landall, at Durham Crown Court.

The court heard how Landall used his position as a trusted member of the community as an Army padre and later a parish vicar to abuse the girls during incidents in the 1980s, 2004 and 2013.

The 64-year-old, of Lowther Street, Penrith, left the Army to train to be a vicar in Durham, where he continued his abuse, telling one victim that God would be happy with her, and as a vicar he was doing “God’s will”.

Despite being convicted of 12 counts of indecent assault and indecency with a child during an eight-day trial last month, the predator still denied his crimes and refused to show any remorse.

A pre-sentence report stated Landall poses, “a high risk of serious sexual and emotional harm to children” and Judge James Adkin passed an extended determinate sentence to include a 19-year custodial element, with an extra four years’ extended licence period.

Detective Constable, Claire Trewick, who led the investigation, said: “This has been a long, drawn out investigation involving three separate victims who were sexually abused from a young age by someone who they had put their trust in.

“The women, one of whom was just four years old at the time of the attacks, have been incredibly brave in giving evidence at court – something which they would have been spared if Landall had not arrogantly refused to accept his crimes. He has continued to lack any remorse.

“However, following the verdict, the women, all now adults, feel that justice has been served and that they can finally start to move on with their lives.”

DC Trewick also encouraged anyone who has suffered at the hands of Landall to come forward.

If you feel you have been affected, call police on 101, or 999 if you are in immediate danger.

If you do not wish to speak directly to police, then please contact The Meadows Sexual Assault Referral Centre on 03333 448 283.

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