A RETIRED Warwick garage owner who claimed two women were making up allegations that he had sexually abused them as children has been given consecutive prison terms for his offences against them.
Terence Mander had been found guilty following a trial at Warwick Crown Court of nine charges of indecent assault – seven in relation to one victim and two in relation to the other.
Following an adjournment for a pre-sentence report to be prepared, the 71-year-old, now of Livery Street, Leamington, was jailed for a total of nine years.
Observing one of the offences would now carry a maximum of life imprisonment, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano pointed out that at the time the maximum for indecent assault was ten years.
She jailed him for seven years for that, with concurrent sentences for his other offences against that girl – with a two-year consecutive term for the two offences against the other girl.
Prosecutor Cathlyn Orchard had told the jury the case concerned the sexual abuse committed by Mander against two girls, both aged around 13 at the time, in the 1980s.
Mander had a garage workshop in Warwick and, after he had started grooming the first girl, whose mother he knew, she would go there after school.
He kissed her on the lips, and in his car, and later at other locations – and it escalated to them having intercourse.
The girl did not tell anyone at the time because she felt she was in love with Mander.
But as an adult she started to face the truth of the situation when she began receiving counselling, but did not feel ready to report it to the police until 2016.
Although she could not recall exact dates, she had kept diaries as a child in the 1980s in which she had marked dates when something sexual had happened with Mander with an asterisk.
Mander had also indecently assaulted another 13-year-old, first by kissing her and later he touched her intimately, but when he asked her if she wanted him to stop and she said yes, he did so.
Over the years she told close friends and partners about the incident, but did not go to the police until 2016 after she heard the other victim had done so.
Mander denied in court ever sexually touching either girl, claiming there was no truth in their allegations and that the two women had made them up.
At the resumed hearing, Anthony Bell, defending, said Mander had ‘no convictions either before or since these offences.’
He had been remanded in custody following his conviction, and was finding the prison environment ‘completely alien to him.’
Jailing Mander, and ordering him to register as a sex offender for life, Judge de Bertodano told him: “You took away the childhoods of these two little girls, and you blighted their adult lives. No-one can give that back to them, I can only pass a sentence which I hope will give them some conclusion and closure.
“I make no reduction in sentence for the fact that this happened many years ago. You have had your freedom in that time.”