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Research scientist Michael Taylor groomed girls to 'satisfy his lust'

Convicted paedophile Michael Taylor
Convicted paedophile Michael Taylor

by Julia Roberts

A military research scientist who groomed and corrupted young girls to "satisfy his lust" has been jailed for nine years.

Judge Jeremy Gold QC told 47-year-old Michael Taylor that behind his respectable veneer lay a "predatory paedophile".

Taylor, who has worked for the Ministry of Defence developing counter explosive devices for use in Afghanistan, had denied 10 offences of indecent assault, six offences of sexual assault, two of rape and two of indecency with a child.

But at the end of a two-week trial at Maidstone Crown Court a jury of seven women and five men found him guilty of all charges except one offence of sexual assault.

They heard the abuse was committed in the Maidstone area and went as far back as 1995.

Taylor, a former schoolteacher and now living in Westrop, Highworth, Swindon in Wiltshire, was described by his defence counsel as a valued member of the scientific community who had led a worthwhile life.

But Judge Gold said Taylor had used his respectability to gain the girls' trust. "Behind that respectable veneer lies a predatory paedophile with a particular interest in pre-pubescent girls," he said.

The judge described Taylor as using one of his victims as "an instrument" through which he satisfied his lust. He added that such "perverted behaviour" had had a lasting effect on her.

At the end of the trial Judge Gold criticised the Crown Prosecution Service for the "extraordinary delay" in bringing the case to court.

"This inquiry has been a long and difficult one but it would not have been possible without the sheer bravery of the victims and they should be commended for their courage in coming forward to report these crimes.

DC Paula Howe, from Maidstone Police's Public Protection Unit, said: "This man cast a net of depraved sexual terror which spanned over a decade and involved the sexual abuse of two children, one of whom was only 11-years-old when the assaults began.

"Without the courage shown by the victims, this case may never have come to court.

"Every child matters and those who decide to abuse children will be pursued by police, no matter how long ago those crimes were committed."

"I hope the sentences handed down today will allow the victims of these crimes to continue to rebuild their lives, safe in the knowledge that Taylor will remain in prison for a significant time.

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