Two Sentenced For Halifax Child Sex Abuse

The pair have received more than 14 years.

Two men have sentenced for historic child abuse in Calderdale dating back over a decade. 

They will serve more than fourteen years for child rape, sexual assault and sexual activity with children, the possession and making of indecent images of children after a meticulous investigation by Calderdale Police, where they pieced back together 300 indecent images from a bag of shredded paper.

Michael Peters, age 71, from Halifax and Andrew Bristow, aged 48, from Normanton, were arrested by Calderdale Police in July 2015.

 This was after a tip off by colleagues from Surrey that a suspect in a local child grooming and sexual offences investigation had sent one text message to Peters of a suspicious nature. 

The newly formed Abusive Images Unit at Calderdale took on the case, after officers from Calderdale CID attended the address to arrest Peters following the intelligence provided by Surrey Police. Whilst searching the property, a series of photographs were recovered depicting the sexual abuse of an unknown female child by an adult male. The male in the offending image was identified as Bristow. 

Michael PetersOfficers recovered a large bag of shredded photographs from Peter's property. These were painstakingly pieced back together, creating over 300 images - a large volume of which were indecent images of children of the most serious level. Several depicted adult males committing sexual offences against a child and this included Peters. Other recovered items were subsequently found to belong to victims from around the country. 

In a lengthy and complex investigation, the team identified a number of children from within West Yorkshire and beyond, all whom had contact with Bristow and Peters. The offending was found to have taken place over a decade ago, between 2004 and 2006. 

Working alongside facial recognition experts based within West Yorkshire, from the images recovered the team were able to confirm the suspects’ identities, but also, crucially the identities of the victims. 

Specially trained Digital Media Investigators, based at Calderdale's Abusive Images Unit worked in collaboration with Greater Manchester Police, to produce the evidence and information needed to link the offences and to make sure that the victims could be appropriately safeguarded. 

This case was the first taken on by the then newly formed Calderdale Abusive Images Unit, and required the team to utilise their specialist and detailed knowledge of cyber-crime and abusive images investigations to bring these offenders to justice on behalf of the victims. Each successive phase of the enquiry identified new lines of enquiry, each requiring detailed and thorough investigation and revealing further abuse committed by Peters and Bristow. 

On the 23rd March 2017 at Bradford Crown Court, Bristow pleaded guilty to two counts of rape against a female under the age of 13 years old, with Peters pleading guilty to taking indecent images of the same victim and being in possession of a large number of indecent images of the most serious nature. Bristow and Peters also pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual touching of a child against two individual children. 

The pair were sentenced on 18th May 2017. Bristow was sentenced to eight and a half years, Peters was sentenced to six years. They will both be registered on the sex offenders register and be subject to lifetime sexual harm prevention orders. 

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