Mum hits out as men who abused her girls walk free

A MOTHER from Earlsheaton has hit out after two men who sexually abused her two daughters avoided jail.

Kenneth France, 56, and Anthony Young, 47, were given suspended prison sentences at Bradford Crown Court.

The pair abused the girls at France’s home in separate spells from 2000 to 2002 and 2002 to 2004.

Speaking after sentencing, their mother said the jury heard France exposed himself and got the girls to do likewise, while Young took pictures.

She said: “We’re definitely disappointed with the sentences. I expected them to get three to five years each in custody.

“We’ve got no closure. They went through all this as children and grew up knowing what was done to them. It feels like they’ve got nothing for it.”

The eldest of the victims, neither of whom can be named, was 12 when her abuse began 15 years ago.

It went on for two years, after which her sister, who was seven at the time, was abused.

Details emerged in 2011 when the younger girl, by then 16, started having nightmares.

Her mother said: “It came out because she had nightmares and I had to go in to calm her down.

“As she’s grown up she’s been unable to deal with all the feelings and needed counselling.”

It took four years to get the case to court due to the defendants’ disabilities and claims of ill-health.

The mother added: “Even though we’re disappointed with the sentences, we’re grateful to the judge for saying it had to go ahead this time.”

France, of Red Laithes Lane, Ravensthorpe, was convicted of gross indecency and making indecent photographs.

He received a 21-month jail term suspended for two years and was put on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

He was found not guilty of seven other offences while jurors were unable to reach a verdict on seven more.

Young, of Derwent Road, Hanging Heaton, was convicted of multiple sexual offences.

These include two counts of indecency with a child, eight of making an indecent photograph and one of possessing extreme pornography.

The jury was unable to reach a verdict on eight other charges against Young, who forfeited all his explicit material. He was handed a 21-month prison term suspended for two years, plus other suspended sentences of between eight and 12 months to run concurrently.

Both defendants, sentenced on June 12, were also made subject to 10-year sexual harm prevention orders.

The eldest victim, now 27, is considering asking the Justice Secretary to review the sentences.

Her mother said: “I don't know if she would go ahead with that because she’s been through too much distress as it is.”

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