Pensioner jailed for non-recent sexual offences committed in Warrington Date published: 15th October 2019 1.45pm

A 74-year-old man has been jailed after being found guilty of raping and indecently assaulting a then 14-year-old girl in Warrington in the 1980s.

John Chu, of The Hawthorns, Eccleston, St Helens, met the victim when they were both working as volunteers at Sacred Heart RC Church on Old Liverpool Road, Warrington.

He was also a member of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) at the school she attended in the town, St Gregory’s Catholic High School.

Chu occasionally gave his victim lifts in his car. On one such occasion he unexpectedly pulled the vehicle over at the side of a road and indecently assaulted her.

Months later Chu gave the victim another lift after they had completed some volunteer work at the church.

Chu claimed that he needed to stop at a relative’s address and invited her inside.

No-one was inside the address.

Once the victim entered the property Chu raped her before driving her back to her Warrington home in silence.

It took the victim more than 30 years to gain the confidence to talk about what had happened to her.

The offences were reported to Cheshire Constabulary in August 2018 and an investigation was launched.

Chu denied ever having any sexual contact with the victim, but despite his denial he was charged with raping and indecently assaulting a child.

He was convicted of the offences on Thursday 19 September, following a four-day trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

Chu returned the court for sentencing on Friday 11 October, when he was jailed for nine years and ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.

Following sentencing, Detective Constable Danielle Fildes, who led the investigation for Cheshire Constabulary, said: “Rape and indecent assault are horrific offences that affect people in the most profound way.

“John Chu, who was in his 40s at the time, gained the victim’s trust when they worked as volunteers at a church.

“When they were alone he abused that trust by raping and indecently assaulting the teenage girl.

“I would like to thank the victim for the immense courage she has shown in coming forward to report the offences that occurred more than 30 years ago.

“I would also like to acknowledge the strength and courage she showed by going to court and giving evidence against Chu, something he forced her to do by refusing to accept his guilt.

“By pleading not guilty to the offences he continued to show a blatant disregard for his victim.

“Whilst she will never be able to forget about what Chu subjected her to during her childhood, I hope that the significant custodial sentence he has been handed by the courts provides her with some closure and enables her to begin to move forward with her life.

“I also hope this case and the sentence that Chu has received encourages other victims of sexual offences to come forward and report them to us.

“Cheshire Constabulary takes any allegation of sexual offences extremely seriously, no matter how long ago they relate to.

“Any allegation will be thoroughly investigated, with the wishes and needs of the victim as our main priority.

“Victims should never feel ashamed to talk about what has happened to them.

“They will receive the help and support they need from our specialist officers, as well as from other support agencies we work alongside, and all victims of sexual offences have the right to anonymity.”

To report any sexual offence call Cheshire Constabulary on 101.

Information can also be passed anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.