A sexual predator who abused three girls over a forty year period was finally brought to justice after sending an explicit image of himself to a schoolgirl.
Russell Yeomans, 58, sent the image to the child in 2019, setting in place a chain of events that would eventually see him jailed for 22 years.
After the image was discovered on the victim’s phone she was encouraged to speak to support staff at her school.
She then revealed several incidents of sexual abuse that had happened at an address in Nottinghamshire.
Detectives opened an investigation and later received additional complaints from two further victims who had learned about the investigation.
The women, now adults, explained Yeomans had abused them in the 1970s and 80s.
One of the victims disclosed a pattern of sexual abuse that started when she was just seven years old and ended with three incidents of rape when she was a teenager.
Yeomans, of Monks Way, Wilford, refused to comment in his first police interview and denied all the allegations against him.
He later admitted to sending the explicit image to the girl and pleaded guilty to one count of causing a child to watch / look at an image of sexual activity, and one count of inciting a girl under 16 to engage in sexual activity.
After a two-week trial at Nottingham Crown Court he was convicted by a jury of a total of 14 offences – two sexual assaults of a child under 13, eight indecent assaults on a child under 14, three rapes and one act of gross indecency with a child under 14.
Appearing for sentence on Friday 14 May Yeomans was jailed for 22 years. He will also have to serve a further five years on licence when he is released.
Detective Constable Paula Wilson, of Nottinghamshire Police, led the investigation. She said: “Yeomans is a manipulative sexual predator whose shocking abuse was finally exposed after he sent an explicit image of himself to one of his victims. By doing this he unwittingly set in place a chain of events that have quite rightly culminated in a very lengthy custodial sentence.
The picture he sent to the victim proved to be catalyst for three separate victims to come forward independently with very detailed allegations of abuse – much of which happened a very long time ago.
“Their bravery and determination was absolutely crucial to the success of this prosecution and I am delighted that they have now received justice. I would also like to pay tribute to the professionalism and good practice displayed by staff at the latest victim’s school, who followed safeguarding procedures to the letter and allowed us to gather very compelling evidence at an early stage.
“Taking into account Yeoman’s pattern of behaviour over a very long period of time I have no doubt that his campaign of abuse would have continued had he not been exposed and convicted for his appalling crimes.
“To any other victims of historic sexual assault I would like to say this – it is never too later to come forward. Regardless of how long ago things happened we will listen to you, we will investigate and we will do our very best to get justice for you.”