Jailed: Paedophile who abused girls as young as nine

Paedophile Richard Tattam
Paedophile Richard Tattam

A paedophile who abused two young girls has been jailed for four years after a judge accused him of destroying the innocence of his victims.

Richard Tattam, 45, from North Marston, started the abuse of one girl when she was just nine years old.

When he was confronted by police over his crimes, which took place while he was living in Scotland, he said: “I’ll get what I deserve. I’ll quit my job - why would my mates work with a paedo?”

Judge Lady Scott, sitting at the High Court in Edinburgh told him yesterday: “You have pled guilty to a sustained course of conduct involving the sexual abuse of two young children.”

The judge said he had further corrupted them by showing them pornography and buying sex toys.

Lady Scott said he would have faced a six-year prison term but for his early guilty pleas.

Tattam earlier admitted indecency offences against the children from the ages of nine and 11.

Defence solicitor advocate Ranald Lindsay said: “It is a matter of deep disgust and shame to him.”

The court heard that Tattam had strong motivation to take part in programmes to make sure it did not happen again.

Mr Lindsay said he had been instructed by Tattam to express his apologies to the victims.

But a source close to the case said: “Over the course of his victims’ whole childhoods, he was never sorry enough to stop, in fact he continued, repeatedly committing horrific sexual offences.

“It’s meaningless to say he is sorry, it seems clear that he is only sorry now he has been caught. He is a devious, manipulative individual who threatened and abused these children for years. His apology is not genuine, and is completely worthless to the victims.”

Some of Tattam’s offences only came to light after one of the victims’ doctor noticed self-harming marks on her legs which led to her emotional confession of how she had been abused over a period of years.

Tattam had told one of the girls he could see into her bedroom window from outside her house, which led her to cover her window with posters, and told her that by telling anyone what was happening, she would ruin her family’s lives.

He also tried to show her pornography.

She tried calling Childline five times throughout the period of abuse, which ended when she was aged 16.

The abuse was disclosed when she began seeing a boyfriend.

However, it emerged he had also been abusing a second girl.

A friend noticed strange behaviour from the girl when she came to sleep over which would see her curl into a ball at the slightest sound in the house and pretend to be asleep.

Tattam was born in North Marston and attended schools in Winslow.

In 2002 he moved to Scotland with his job as a BT engineer and the abuse started in the country a couple of years later.

He moved back to North Marston after being arrested by police last year and had lived in the village since then, working as a gardener.

The source close to the case said: “The impact of Richard Tattam’s sexual abuse and serious assaults have devastated these children’s lives.

“The effects on their childhoods, education, friendships and relationships, self-confidence and self-worth has been immense.

“He has stolen their childhoods.

“They have been extremely brave in helping the police bring him to justice and I hope that the fact that this paedophile is now in custody and due to be sentenced will help them to rebuild their lives.

“It has been a very hard year since the investigation began, but they were assured by the police that is was a very strong case, and they have been helped through the ordeal by incredible kindness and support from many decent people.”