1. ITV Report

Retired Police Officer charged with sexual abuse

Lancashire Constabulary Photo: Lancashire Police

A former police sergeant has been charged with 20 sexual and cruelty offences against children following his extradition from Australia.

Jeffrey Lake, 77, is said to have committed the crimes against two alleged victims between 1960 and 1975 - at a time when he was a serving officer with Lancashire Police and lived in the Accrington area.

The pensioner was arrested by police in Australia in January on suspicion of the sexual and physical abuse of children.

He was held at his address in Peregian Springs on Queensland's Sunshine Coast and was then extradited to Britain, where he arrived yesterday and was charged.

A spokeswoman for Lancashire Police said: "He is charged with seven offences of indecent assault on a girl under 13, four offences of gross indecency on a girl under 14, two counts of rape of a girl under 16, one count of rape of a girl over 16, one offence of gross indecency on a boy under 14, three offences of cruelty on a person under 16, and two other sexual offences."

Lake will appear at Blackburn Magistrates' Court today, where his case is expected to be committed to Crown Court.

The defendant, who has also lived in Oldham and Maghull, emigrated to Australia in 2002.