Lancashire man found guilty of abusing children spanning over four decades

110823 Padiham rapist
Stephen Anderton began his depraved crimes in the 1980s. Credit: Lancashire Police

A man has been found guilty of abusing children over a period of four decades.

Stephen Anderton, 53, began his crimes in the 1980s, with his youngest victims being just four years old.

The mother of one of the victims contacted the police to report Anderton's crime against her daughter back in 2018.

It was enquiries from Lancashire Police detectives which led to the identification of Anderton's other victims.

Anderton, from Bank Street in Padihum near Burnley was found guilty of five rapes and 15 other sexual offences committed against children.

DS Alex Rawsthorn, of the Blackburn Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Unit, said “Anderton was found guilty of the most depraved offences imaginable.

"I would like to express my thanks to the officer in case whose tenacity and dedication has been unwavering.

"Most importantly, I would like to place on record my sincere gratitude and admiration for the victims who have endured an agonising wait for justice.

"They have shown remarkable courage throughout this case."

Anderton remains in police custody and is due to be sentenced at Burnley Crown Court on Friday 22 September.