Former police officer jailed for 22 years for catalogue of child sex abuse

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A former police officer and ex Scout leader has been jailed for 22 years after being convicted of 40 historical sex offences against children spanning four decades.

Allan Richards, who was a serving officer with West Midlands Police until retiring five years ago, targeted children as young as eight in a spate of offending that lasted until 2013.

He was convicted following two separate trials at Birmingham Crown Court of voyeurism and sexual offences against 17 victims, dating back to the 1970s.

Sentencing Richards, Judge Francis Laird QC told him: "It's abundantly clear to me you have been a sexual predator all your adult life."

He added: "I observed you Mr Richards over the course of many weeks and you have shown no remorse for what you did or for the damage that you have done to some many individuals."

Richards showed no reaction as he was sentenced.

After his trial it emerged that he had been removed from a public-facing role in the police following a complaint made against him in 2004 but not fired.

He was kicked out of the Scouts the same year, after the Scout Association became aware of the allegation.

However, the 54-year-old, of Tile Cross, Birmingham, who also faced another accusation in 2000, was not charged and was able to work on as a police officer until his retirement.