Man jailed for historic sexual offences against teenage boys in Crewe
Main article content
A man who was found guilty of 24 counts of sexual abuse against five teenage boys in Crewe has been jailed for 23 years.
Anthony Spelman, 57, was sentenced at Chester Crown Court on Friday 10 November for three counts of rape, two counts of indecency with a child and 19 counts of indecent assault.
Spelman, previously of Arbour Hill Prison, Ireland, was found guilty after a 12-day trial at Chester Crown Court which concluded on Tuesday 5 September.
The case against him began in 2017 when a number of men came forward to report that they had been victims of Spelman in Crewe, after seeing a court article about him in Irish news publications.
The article reported how Spelman had been handed a suspended sentence after he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a seven-year-old boy between 1985 and 1986.
All of the men in Crewe reported they had also been sexually abused by him as teenage boys while living in Crewe, between October 1993 and 2002.
They said Spelman would often provide them with alcohol and take them out in his car, on occasions letting them drive.
An investigation was subsequently launched by Cheshire Police and Spelman was initially arrested for the offences in Crewe in 2018, while serving his suspended sentence in Ireland.
However, while officers were conducting enquiries, the Director of Public Prosecutions in Ireland appealed the sentence and Spelman was handed a custodial sentence.
This was extended after more offences in Ireland came to light while he was serving.
The Cheshire Police investigation continued and in March 2023 Spelman was extradited to the UK after his prison sentence ended, meaning detectives were finally able to charge and remand him for the Crewe offences.
On top of his 23-year sentence, Spelman will serve a further one year on licence. He was made subject to a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for an indefinite period and must sign the Sex Offender Register for an indefinite period.
Following the sentencing, Detective Sergeant Lindsay Wooffitt said:
“Firstly, I would like to thank the victims for their bravery in coming forward and the strength they have shown throughout the trial after Spelman refused to take accountability for his horrendous actions.
“I hope his sentence provides them with some sense of closure after carrying this on their shoulders for 20-30 years.
“Spelman was found guilty of despicable crimes, targeting young boys in the community where they lived, somewhere they should have been able to feel safe.
“In interview, he tried to deny the allegations, but justice has now been served and he is facing a lengthy spell behind bars.
“I hope Spelman’s conviction and sentencing encourages anyone who has been subjected to similar offending to report it to police.
“People should feel confident that they will receive the help and support they need. All victims will be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve, and any allegations will be taken extremely seriously and thoroughly investigated.”