Padiham paedophile jailed for 14 and a half years

A paedophile who sexually assaulted four teenage girls has been jailed for 14 and a half years.

Antonino Seminara, 65, committed his offending in Padiham and Blackburn.

Seminara’s youngest victim was just 14 when he committed offences against her.

Seminara told two of his victims that they ‘liked that’ as he sexually assaulted them.

He also boasted to one victim that he had ‘done this before with somebody your age’.

Seminara threatened to kill the same victim if she told anyone what had happened.

Seminara, of Whittaker Close, Burnley, was arrested after his offending came to light and denied any wrongdoing during police interviews.

Following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, Seminara was charged with multiple offences of sexual activity with a child and sexual assault.

He was found guilty of 11 offences relating to four victims after a trial at Preston Crown Court earlier this year.

Seminara was remanded into custody for sentencing at the same court today. As well as being given the custodial sentence, Seminara was also ordered to sign the Sex Offender’s Register for life.

In an impact statement to the court, one of the victim’s said: “What happened to me when I was 14 years old has ruined my life. Ever since that first time it happened I’ve felt damaged, dirty, worthless and have lacked self-confidence.

“It has caused ongoing problems for me in terms of being able to form relationships with people as I have severe trust issues and insecurities. I have since been in abusive relationships; both mentally and physically, and have accepted this to be normal as it’s what I’ve been conditioned to believe is the only form of love I’m worthy of.

“I kept quiet about what had happened to me for years, never telling a single soul because in all honesty I felt ashamed. But it began to eat me up and caused sleepless nights and nightmares frequently.

“I often had flashbacks of what had happened. This caused me to become depressed and have severe anxiety which resulted in me being off sick from work. During this time I began to take anti-depressants and sleeping tablets, as well as having counselling. I have always struggled to talk about what happened as I feel ashamed by it and have often blamed myself. But I have learnt to understand that this was what he did. He made me feel as though I was damaged and worthless and that nobody would ever accept me.

“After going to the police about it, I then faced the difficulties of telling my family what had happened. I have always been very close with my parents, and the fact that I had dealt with this alone for over 10 years absolutely destroyed them.”

 Another victim wrote: “People like to say that if something like this happened to them, they would speak up, lash out, get angry. It was something I liked to think I would do myself, if someone ever put their hands on me without my consent. In reality, until you are in that situation, you really don’t know how you would react.

“Yet the problem isn’t about reactions, it’s about actions: Actions of someone who believes it’s ok to behave in such a manner, and worryingly dismiss it as being ‘playful’. It implies that his inappropriate behaviour is something that girls should just accept.”

DC Matt Bourne, from Burnley CID, said: “Seminara targeted young women when they were vulnerable for his sexual gratification.

“The impact his behaviour has had on all four of them is clearly significant. The harrowing victim impact statements they provided to the court are clear evidence of that.

“While they showed incredible bravery in firstly coming forward and then giving evidence in court, Seminara’s manipulative and deceitful nature was evident from the very start to the end of this investigation.

“I welcome the sentence handed down today and hope it sends out a clear message that if you behave in such an abhorrent way in Lancashire you should expect to go to prison.

“I hope the outcome of this case will encourage other victims to come forward, knowing they will be believed, listened to and that we will do everything in our power to put the perpetrator before the courts.”

If you or somebody you know has been the victim of a sexual offence, report it online via https://doitonline.lancashire.police.uk/ or call 101. If a crime is in progress always call 999.

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