A RAPIST who abused his victim for nearly a decade - starting when she was aged just ten - has been sentenced to 20 years behind bars.

Aubrey Mitchell was told by an Aylesbury Crown Court judge yesterday he had robbed his victim of her childhood and adolescence as sentence was passed.

A jury had convicted the 80-year-old of two counts of rape and one of indecent assault after a trial.

And Mitchell's partner, 68-year-old Mary Goscombe, was also given a lengthy jail sentence after jurors found her guilty of aiding and abetting Mitchell's deeds.

They found Goscombe guilty of one charge of aiding and abetting rape and one of cruelty to a person under 16, with jurors deciding she knew about the abuse but did nothing to stop her partner committing his crimes. She was jailed for 14 years.

Both were barred from ever working with children and will remain on the Sex Offenders' Register for life.

The court heard on Monday that when the offences came to light Mitchell - described as a "dominant and controlling character" by Judge Johanna Cutts - was attacked with an iron bar by two men, before he was almost killed in an arson attack on his home in Bookerhill Road, High Wycombe.

Passing sentence, Judge Cutts told Mitchell: "You acted for your own selfish gratification and it happened many times.

"She was a vulnerable child."

The judge added: "I accept you are frail but I cannot ignore the fact you robbed [the girl] of her childhood and her adolescence. You used and abused her to suit the interests of both of you."

Mitchell was given a 20 year prison term for each of the two rapes and a five year sentence for indecent assault, which will run concurrently.

Goscombe was given a ten year stretch for aiding and abetting rape and a four year sentence for cruelty to a person under 16. Those sentences will run consecutively.