Former RNLI lifesaver given freedom of Hartlepool faces ‘long time’ in jail for raping young girls

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A FORMER lifesaver who was part of a group given the freedom of the town has been convicted of a string of sickening rapes and sex attacks on young girls.

John Farman spent many years working at Hartlepool Power Station and as a part-time fireman in the town as well as being hailed as a lifesaving member of Hartlepool’s RNLI.

But the 64-year-old, who no longer works for the RNLI, now faces a “long time” in prison after he was found guilty of six vile rapes and a further six charges of indecent assault involving two young girls dating back to the 1970s and 80s.

The jury delivered a unanimous guilty verdict for the 12 charges put against Farman at Teesside Crown Court.

The jury was previously told that one of the girls shouted out for help during one of Farman’s attacks.

When no-one responded Farman said to her: “See, I can do what I want when I want to you,” said Shaun Dodds, prosecuting.

And the sex offender showed no emotion as the judge warned him he would face a lengthy spell behind bars when he returns to the court to be sentenced.

Farman was hailed as a hero in the town in 1986 when he was given the freedom of Hartlepool for his volunteering work with the RNLI.

But in the years prior to that Farman had carried out the sickening attacks over a 12-year period, from 1972-1984.

The jury heard during the four-day trial how Farman had abused the young girls by fondling them and even made one of the youngsters watch a porn movie as well as raping her on six separate occasions.

The two frightened young victims didn’t report his disgusting sex attacks for more than three decades as they said they had grown up thinking his vile acts were normal.

But after confiding in each other they plucked up the courage to report Farman to the police and Farman was arrested last year.

Farman, of Amberton Road, Hartlepool, was arrested and quizzed by officers before being charged with the sickening offences.

After being found guilty of the charges, Judge Michael Taylor told Farman: “I have no choice but to impose a very lengthy prison sentence.

“You will be remanded on bail and you now have the chance to put your life together before you go to prison for a very long time.”

A date for the sentencing is yet to be set.