A 65-year-old man was jailed for 23 years yesterday (18 October 2021) for raping and indecently assaulting four children between 1988 and 1994.

Mark Slater, who was in his thirties at the time, was convicted of multiple instances of rape, multiple instances of indecent assault, and one instance of indecency with a child following a trial at Bournemouth Crown Court.

Slater groomed and manipulated the vulnerable children, aged between 11 and 16, and then kept them quiet to his abuse by telling them it was ‘our secret’ or threatening to tell their parents should they say anything.

He demonstrated controlling, aggressive and jealous behaviour, telling one victim that he had someone watching her at a school club when he became jealous.

When questioned by police, Slater denied that anything had happened, claiming that the victims were lying and that they must have colluded with each other.

Anthony Johns, CPS Wessex Senior Crown Prosecutor, said: “Mark Slater is a predatory paedophile who has refused to accept any guilt for his devastating crimes.

“Through early engagement with the police, the CPS was able to build a strong case against him. We used the evidence of victims and witnesses, including evidence provided at the trial using live TV links to overseas countries, to prove that he was responsible for these utterly appalling crimes.

“We commend the bravery of the victims for coming forward and supporting the prosecution of this case. It is clear that Slater’s abuse has had a lasting and painful impact on them, and I hope they will feel that justice has been delivered.

“We have worked in partnership with Dorset police and other Forces in the Wessex region (Hampshire and Wiltshire) to develop a local improvement plan focused on ensuring better joint working and earlier engagement to build strong cases for prosecution.

“We have already seen improvements as a result of this collaborative approach, and we are committed to restoring the confidence of victims in the criminal justice process.”

  • The Dorset Echo has asked Dorset Police for a picture of Mark Slater