A ‘DEVIOUS and predatory’ child rapist has been jailed for more than 30 years for abusing three different girls over a period of two decades.

Nicholas Burrows raped two of his victims when they were seven and 11 and started an abusive sexual relationship with the third when she was a 13-year-old schoolgirl. 

His first victim was just seven when she was raped at a Newton Abbot landmark known as The Devil’s Pit.

 Burrows was described as a manipulative groomer with a sexual interest in children by a judge at Exeter Crown Court as he was jailed for 29 years with a two year extended licence and scheduled as ‘an offender of particular concern’.

He was arrested and interviewed after the Devil’s Pit incident with a seven-year-old girl but the case was not pursued by the police at the time.

The victim read an impact statement in which she said: ‘He should have been stopped in 1994 but instead he has been able to carry on and abuse other children.’

Burrows, 58, now of Torquay, denied but was found guilty of two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse; one of rape and five of indecency or sexual activity with a child.

He was jailed for 29 years with a two year extended licence by Recorder Mr Donald Tait who imposes an indefinite sexual harm prevention order and lifelong registration as a sex offender. 

The ‘special’ sentence means Burrows will only be able to apply for parole after serving almost 20 years and will only be released if and when the parole board decide be poses no danger to the public. 

The Judge told Burrows: ‘You are by any stretch of the imagination a sexual predator. You deny any interest in young children. Your conviction speaks otherwise. I am satisfied you are a devious and predatory individual.’ 

Burrows, who worked at a buildings material manufacturer in Heathfield, denied all the allegations at his trial at Exeter in August and claimed they were ‘slanderous lies’.

During the trial all three victims, two of are now adults, gave evidence of how they had been abused when they were much younger. 

The first went to the police in 1994 and her video-recorded interview was still on file, but all the rest of the case papers had been lost.

Burrows was interviewed at the time but not prosecuted for the offences, which included having sex with the girl after taking her to Baker’s Park, through Bradley Woods, to a spot known locally as The Devil’s Pit. 

The second victim was at school when she was befriended by Burrows, who used to meet her near the gates and take her back to his bedsit in Powderham Road, Newton Abbot. 

A fellow pupil, who was a contemporary, gave evidence at the trial of going to the bedsit for parties at which under age girls drank alcohol. 

The third girl said she was raped by Burrows in a bedroom at her home when he was visiting and was left alone with her. She later told social workers what had happened, leading to the start of the new investigation. 

Dr Rowan Jenkins, prosecuting, said there was a pattern of Burrows moving from one victim to another and no evidence that any of the three victims knew each other or had colluded with each other. 

All three victims wrote personal statements which said they have suffered serious psychological trauma. The first said she had attempted suicide in the past and described her symptoms as a life sentence.

Another said she was left feeling vulnerable and worthless. The most recent said she had PTSD and anxiety.