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Brothers jailed for 8 years after repeated rapes of girl in 1960s

David Woolham                                                       Peter Woolham

Two Bradford brothers have each been jailed for eight years for the systematic rape of a young girl almost half a century ago. David Woolham, 60, of Highgate Road, Clayton, and 59-year-old, wheelchair-bound, Peter Woolham, of Prospect Street, Buttershaw, were convicted by a jury last month of offences dating back to the mid 1960s when they were children themselves.

Both were found guilty of repeatedly raping a girl when she was aged ten to 15.

Peter Woolham was convicted of indecently assaulting a second girl when she was aged six to 12.

The brothers were in their early teens when they began the abuse when they were growing up in the Court area of Bradford, Prosecutor Gerald Hendron told Bradford Crown Court  yesterday.

They were left to their own devices after their father died and their mother struggled to bring them up on her own.

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC said the brothers “preyed callously, wickedly and knowingly” on their victim.

David Woolham took the girl’s virginity when she was between ten and 12 and he was about 16.

“You grabbed her, took her, ignored her screams and raped her,” the judge said.

Both women had their childhoods ruined and still suffered nightmares and flashbacks.

One told the court in a statement: “I turned into a mad woman and did not like myself. I still get flashbacks and I know that they will last the rest of my life.”

The second woman said she fought to control her drinking. She had taken an overdose and suffered sleepless nights.

Judge Durham Hall warned that the police and the courts would catch up with people whose crimes stretch back half a century.

He made a sexual offences prevention order banning the brothers from having any contact with the women and ordered them to sign on as sex offenders for the rest of their lives.

Sarah Barlow, barrister for David Woolham, said the offences stopped when he was 20. He was now in poor health and suffered from epilepsy and arthritis.

Martin Robertshaw, for Peter Woolham, said he had suffered a broken hip and had diabetes.

Detective Constable Ellen Allen, commended by the judge for her work on the investigation, said after the case: “Both these men subjected their victims to a catalogue of serious sexual offences spanning a considerable amount of time.

“Hopefully, today’s outcome will provide some comfort to their victims and enable them to move on with their lives.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus 21/01/11

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