Nathan Potts, 26, was today jailed for his part in a horrific campaign of abuse by the Potts family that lasted for three decades
A man has been jailed for 20 years for raping youngsters, becoming the sixth person in his family to be convicted of horrifying and systematic child abuse.
Nathan Potts was today jailed for his part in a horrific campaign of abuse by the Potts family that lasted for three decades.
They abused a number of children over a 30-year period and Nathan Potts was the last of six family members to be sentenced.
His punishment takes the family’s total time in prison to more than 70 years.
The 26-year-old, from Holbrooks, was found guilty earlier this year of two counts of rape of a child, four counts of sexual assault, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and sex with another adult, following an eight-week trial.
He had been due to be sentenced earlier this month, but the sentencing hearing was delayed and instead took place today at Birmingham Crown Court.
Potts was sentenced to 20 years in prison with an extended licence of eight years.
Five of Nathan Potts’ relatives have already been sentenced, including his brother Joshua who was jailed for 16 years with an extended licence to run for eight years after pleading guilty to multiple counts of rape and sexual assault against children.
The 26-year-old, from Holbrooks, was found guilty earlier this year of two counts of rape of a child, four counts of sexual assault, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and sex with another adult, following an eight-week trial
Five of Nathan Potts’ relatives have already been sentenced, including his brother Joshua (left) who was jailed after pleading guilty to multiple counts of rape and sexual assault against children. Their half-brother, Antony Potts (right), was given a life sentence, after being convicted of 13 counts of rape among other charges for offences against children
Their half-brother, Antony Potts, was given a life sentence, with a minimum of 16 years behind bars, after being convicted of 13 counts of rape, three counts of sexual assault and nine counts of inciting a child to perform a sexual act and cruelty – all against children.
Also jailed were Nathan’s parents – Keith Potts, 67, and his wife Julie Potts, 60, of Burnaby Road who were sentenced to eight and seven years custody respectively after being convicted of two counts of child cruelty.
And Antony’s wife Elaine Potts, 50, and 42-year-old family friend Joanne Hoye both pleaded guilty to neglect and were sentenced to four years’ custody each.
Impact statements written by Potts’ victims were read out in court by prosecutor Simon Spence.
One victim stated: ‘I was really pleased when [Nathan and Joshua] were found guilty.
‘My life has been a nightmare’
They said they had to ‘watch my back’ after speaking to police and was ‘subject to verbal threats’ from the Potts family.
The abuse they suffered at the hands of Nathan and Joshua Potts had left them prone to ‘angry outbursts’, they said, adding: ‘I lost many nights sleep at the prospect of giving evidence.’
Also jailed were Nathan’s parents – Keith Potts, 67, (left) and his wife Julie Potts, 60, (right) of Burnaby Road who were sentenced to eight and seven years custody respectively after being convicted of two counts of child cruelty.
Another victim spoke of the stress they felt during the police investigation and the crown court trial.
‘I woke up in the night thinking about certain incidents,’ they said. ‘I was so stressed and scared I felt physically sick.
‘I hate them. They should be in prison for as long as possible.
‘I feel so angry they abused me. They are dangerous people as they hurt children.’
A further statement from the father of a victim was also read out which stated: ‘I found it really hard to hear what was happening to children.
‘I constantly worry that she will remember what happened to her.’
Adam Western, speaking for Potts at today’s hearing, said: ‘A striking feature of the evidence was the usual standards of behaviour within the Potts family.
‘It was within that, that he was brought up.
‘Sexual activity involving children seems to have been accepted by senior members of the Potts family.’
Mr Western said that ‘environment’ had ‘warped this young man’s mind’ and added: ‘Given the verdicts he has to accept responsibility for his actions.
‘[But] that criminal responsibility is reduced as given the environment in which he was raised, there was no reasonable prospect of him learning right from wrong given that upbringing.’
Judge Peter Carr said that of Potts’ four victims, one had described their life as ‘a nightmare’ and another is ‘still deeply traumatised’.
And Antony’s wife Elaine Potts, 50, (left) and 42-year-old family friend Joanne Hoye (right) both pleaded guilty to neglect and were sentenced to four years’ custody each.
‘He speaks of the hate he has for you,’ Judge Carr said of one victim. ‘He talks about being scared of you and you being dangerous for hurting children.’
The judge declared that he considers Potts to be dangerous and there could be ‘further significant impact on members of the public’ from Potts.
He stated: ‘I have no hesitation in saying significant risk exists.’
Despite his decision on the danger Potts poses, Judge Carr decided against imposing a life sentence and instead passing an extended sentence.
This is made up of 20 years in prison, with a further eight years on licence on top of that.
Potts will serve at least two-thirds of 20-year sentence behind bars – 13 years and four months – before he is even considered for release and then only when the Parole Board consider is safe to do so.
If Potts is released before the end of the 20-year term he will serve the rest of that time on licence and then a further eight years due to the extended sentence.