BREAKING NEWS: 'Depraved' Northampton husband and wife found guilty of 94 child sex offences

Nicholas Taylor.
Nicholas Taylor.

A vile husband and wife from Northampton who used crack cocaine to force children to carry out sex acts on them have been found guilty of nearly 100 offences.

Nicholas and Joan Taylor were found guilty by a jury of seven men and five women at the end of a seven week trial at Leicester Crown Court.

Joan Taylor.

Joan Taylor.

Nicholas Taylor, 47, Pitstone Road, Briar Hill was found guilty of 62 charges, including rape, indecency with a child and supply of Class A drugs. During the trial he pleaded guilty to one count of child cruelty.

Joan Taylor, 44, was found guilty of 22 charges, including rape, indecency with a child and supply of Class A drugs. She pleaded guilty to nine additional charges prior to the start of the trial.

Both were found guilty of offences against boys and girls as young as 11, dating from 1996 to 2006. Their eleven victims were aged 16 or under at the time of the incidents.

The investigation into the Taylors started in 2014 and is the largest of its type in Northamptonshire Police’s history.

The dining room of the Taylors' house in Pitstone Road.

The dining room of the Taylors' house in Pitstone Road.

Detective Inspector Adam Pendlebury, who oversaw the investigation, said: “We welcome the decision of the jury to find Nicholas and Joan Taylor guilty of these charges.

“It is very clear that Nicholas Taylor (previously known as Ronald Victor Stevenson) is a very dangerous, depraved individual who used threats of violence alongside crack cocaine to sexually abuse children.

“It would be easy to suggest that he forced and bullied Joan Taylor into committing offences, but the court has heard that she was a more than willing accomplice.

“The Taylors were master manipulators who used crack cocaine to force their victims to engage in sexual activity against their will and their actions have had a devastating impact on their victims' lives.

A peephole cut into a bedroom door was used as part of the couple's offending.

A peephole cut into a bedroom door was used as part of the couple's offending.

“The court heard testimony from a witness describing the Taylors' house as having the ‘fear factor’, describing Nicholas as cold and calculating and how the introduction of crack cocaine ruined his life.”

Each of the victims, all of who were abused in the Taylors' home in Briar Hill gave evidence at the trial.

DI Pendlebury added: “The courage shown by the victims in coming forward and giving evidence cannot and should not be underestimated, and I have a huge amount of respect for them for supporting our investigation.

“It has taken an extraordinary amount of bravery for them to attend court and give evidence in front of their abusers, and I hope the guilty verdict provides them with some comfort.

The lounge of the Taylors' home in Pitstone Road.

The lounge of the Taylors' home in Pitstone Road.

“Although some of these incidents took place more than 20 years ago, the abuse conducted by the Taylors still has a significant impact on the lives of the victims.

“I hope the successful prosecution of Nicholas and Joan Taylor shows other victims of non-recent abuse that they will be believed and that action can still be taken against individuals, no matter when the incident took place.”

DC Cathy O’Connor led the investigation and today paid tribute to the victims. She said: “This investigation has been very challenging yet extremely rewarding. The courage of the victims, who went from giving us small bits of information to attending Crown Court to face their abusers, has led to today’s positive result.

“I and the investigation team thank them all for working together with us, for trusting in us and standing side-by-side with us throughout this whole process.

“The community of Briar Hill has shown how they will stand together and not let criminals of this nature ruin their lives and their community.

“I hope this shows to others that if you decide to confide in the police we will do our very best to work together with you in seeking justice.”

A "vile" Northampton couple that used a crossbow to torture victims who refused to take part in depraved sex acts did so for their own "twisted pleasure" according to a leading children';s charity.

Commenting on the case, a spokesman for the NSPCC, said: "The sheer number of sickening crimes committed by this couple is truly horrific.

“Both Nicholas and Joan Taylor used and abused children for their own twisted pleasure and their sickening actions will have had hugely damaging effects on their many young victims.

“An utterly vile aspect of this case is that they introduced vulnerable children to drugs and then forced them to commit sexual acts.

“Their victims’ bravery in speaking out has helped bring this couple to justice and we hope they are receiving all possible support to rebuild their lives.”

Another boy victim, the court heard, during the lengthy trial at Leicester Crown Court, was so gripped by crack cocaine he stopped caring about himself.

"His only focus in life at that time was crack cocaine and how he could get his hands on more," prosecutor David Herbert QC, said on day one of the hearing.

Nicholas Taylor had become well known on the Briar Hill Estate during the time of the offending between 1996 and 2006, even considering himself to be the local "hard man".

He later went on to give lectures in schools around Northamppton about how he had become a reformed criminal - all the while still carrying out sex acts on children.

Anyone with concerns as a result of this trial can contact Northamptonshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 111 555.

Anyone who may have been a victim of this type of crime and would like to speak to someone independent of the police, can contact Voice, for victims and witness in Northamptonshire, on 0300 303 1965 or find out more at voicenorthants.org.

The Taylors will be sentenced at a later date.