A “dangerous” Bourne IT specialist has been jailed for 14 years after admitting carrying out a string of sex attacks on young girls.
Philip Belcher carried out his first attack when he was just a teenager.
Grace Hale, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court on Monday that Belcher committed his first offence against a 10-year-old girl and then went on to attack a further four young girls before finally being brought to justice.
Mrs Hale said that when Belcher’s crimes came to light, he tried to kill himself.
She added: “He cut his wrist then stabbed himself in the stomach. He was taken to hospital. When he was sufficiently recovered he was interviewed and admitted the offences.”
Belcher, 49, of Stevenson Way, Bourne, admitted charges including rape, sexual assault, and taking indecent photographs of children.
Recorder John Butterfield QC described him as dangerous and jailed him for 14 years. The recorder ordered him to remain on licence for an additional eight years meaning that until 2036 he is at risk of being returned to prison. Belcher was placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.
Passing sentence the recorder said he had no hesitation in finding that Belcher was a danger to the public. “I do making a finding of dangerousness,” he ruled.
Belcher was not in court to hear the sentence after he broke down and became too distressed. He remained in the cells while sentence was passed. Recorder Butterfield told the court Belcher’s actions had left a trail of emotional, psychological and psychiatric damage.
Terry Boston, in mitigation, said “He has co-operated with the police. He has made admissions and told police about things they were not aware of.”