Kent couple jailed for more than 50 years for multiple child sex offences

Paul Higginson was found guilty of multiple counts of rape against four girls. His wife, Pamela Higginson, aided and abetted him. Credit: Kent Police

A married couple from Deal have been jailed for a total of more than 50 years for a series of sexual offences against four girls.

Detectives arrested Paul and Pamela Higginson after one of their victims came forward in 2016.

Following a thorough investigation, Paul Higginson, 72, was charged with multiple counts of rape, indecent assault and gross indecency relating to offences in the 1980s, 1990s and 2010s.

He was also charged with possessing indecent images.

Pamela Higginson, 73, was charged with aiding and abetting rape and causing suffering to a child in the 1980s.

Following a trial at Canterbury Crown Court Paul Higginson was jailed for 29 years, his wife Pamela receiving a 22-year sentence.

Both will have to serve two thirds of their sentences before they are eligible for parole.

Detective Chief Inspector Matthew Smith said: "The offences carried out by this couple were horrific and will have a long-lasting impact on their victims.

"I hope the careful investigation carried out by my officers, and the long sentences now handed down, give the victims some sense that justice has been done.

"I would like to pay tribute to their bravery and urge anyone who has suffered abuse or sexual violence to report it to police so we can keep you safe and bring perpetrators to justice."

Therapy dog Luna assisted at court. Credit: Kent Police

One of the victims was supported throughout the trial by Luna, a seven-year-old Siberian husky.

She helped her through her ordeal of giving evidence in court.

Luna's owner, Angelina, has been volunteering her dog's therapy services at Kent Police since November 2022. She said: "Luna is such a wonderful dog who is loving and kind. I'm so happy to share that love with those who need it the most.

"She spent time with the victim during her visit to the court as part of a six-week trial.

"She was there when she put her hand out for a cuddle, when things were getting tough, and in exchange enjoyed a biscuit or two.

"Her presence helped keep the victim calm and Luna was a welcome distraction before and after giving such painful evidence."

Luna is one of 12 dogs who are called on to provide vulnerable people with the support they need across the county.

PC Martyn Tulk, who oversees volunteers within the Special Constabulary, added: "Volunteers are invaluable to Kent Police and we very much appreciate the role that they play within the force.

"Members of the Community Policing Canine Team all give up their free time to enable positive exchanges with the public.

"This allows people to benefit from all the positive effects therapy dogs can have both mentally and physically.

"Therapy dogs can help reduce stress and anxiety while providing a sense of connection in difficult situations."

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