Notts couple Robert and Rita Oldham get 26 years for sex attacks on children
A MARRIED couple have been sentenced to a total of 26 years for sexually assaulting children over a 13-year period.
Robert Oldham, 53, and his wife Rita, 51, were described as "cold, selfish and utterly lacking in remorse" by the police officer who handled their case.
Judge John Milmo, at Nottingham Crown Court, told them: "I have rarely come across such a catalogue of depravity."
Robert Oldham, who had pleaded guilty to 16 offences including rape and indecent assault, was sentenced to 20 years.
His wife Rita was sentenced to six years. She had admitted three offences – rape, indecent assault and willfully neglecting and exposing a child to assault and ill-treatment by her husband. The offences took place at various addresses in Notts between 1993 and 2006.
The Oldhams, of Greendale Crescent, Clipstone, denied a number of other charges.
Detective Constable Louise Gowan, who has investigated crimes against children for the last nine years, said: "Young lives have been terribly damaged as a result of the depraved actions of this man and his wife.
"Whilst conducting a detailed and, necessarily sensitive investigation, we have provided as much help, support and compassion to the victims and that will continue as they rebuild their lives and try to move on.
"The prison sentences will help them on that journey. All expressed the wish that their abusers should be locked up for a very long time as punishment for the appalling crimes they carried out."
She recalled how the couple had both "vehemently and repeatedly denied" any wrong-doing.
"I was struck by how cold they were, how selfish they were, and how utterly self-obsessed they were," she said.
To protect the identity of the victims, the circumstances of the crimes cannot be published.
However, their statements were presented to the court before yesterday's sentencing.
One of the victims wrote: "My only way of surviving has been to lock all the memories away and try to pretend it had all happened to someone else. But the dreadful memories eat away at you all the time, day-by-day, month-by-month, year-by-year".
Another wrote: "When DC Gowan first told me the Oldhams had been charged, I broke down in tears. The truth had been believed. 'I' had been believed. The relief was indescribable."
And another said: "I want them to know what it's like to have everything taken away from you and left with nothing. No feelings."