Harlow man jailed after being found guilty of historic sex offences

Crime / Wed 21st Dec 2022 at 11:36am

A MAN has been sentenced to six years in prison following work by Essex Police’s specialist Quest team.

Geoffrey Rance, 61 of School Lane, Harlow has been jailed after being found guilty of non-recent sexual abuse of a child.

The victim bravely disclosed to Essex Police in 2020 that Rance had subjected her to three years of abuse, beginning in 2000 when she was just 11-years-old. An investigation was launched by Quest, who specialise in investigating any case of sexual abuse where the offence is over a year old.

Rance attended Harlow Police Station for a voluntary interview in July 2020 and was formally charged in October 2021 with two counts of gross indecency with a girl under 14 and one count of indecent assault on a girl under 14.

Following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court where Rance continued to deny all offences, he was convicted on 25 November 2022 and required to sign on the Sex Offenders Register. Rance appeared in court yesterday (20 December) where he was sentenced to six years in prison and issued with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Investigating Officer, Temporary Detective Sergeant Ed Massey said “The actions of Rance have caused a lifelong impact to the victim.

“Rance’s refusal to plead guilty to his crimes meant the victim had to go through the stressful process of a court trial. We did everything possible to try to make this easier for the victim, including using a video recording of the victim giving their account, and implementing special measures in court such as screens. 

“I want to commend the victim on her bravery throughout the process, and hope that the court result and sentence will allow her to move forward with her life.” 

Detective Sergeant Shirley Cole, from the Quest team, said: “The Quest team is made up of dedicated, specialist officers who work day-in, day-out to get justice for victims.  Our work shows that just because sexual abuse took place decades ago, it doesn’t mean that you have any less of a right to have someone who abused you held to account.  I would urge anyone who was abused as a child to come forward and report to us what happened to them.”

Synergy Essex provides support and guidance for survivors of sexual and sexual abuse across Essex. The Essex Rape Crisis Partnership is formed of three organisations:

• CARA (Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse) who cover mid and north Essex

• SERICC (Rape and Sexual Abuse Specialist Service) who cover South and West Essex

• SOS Rape Crisis who cover Southend, Castle Point and Rochford

Survivors can self-refer and receive emotional support, specialist sexual violence and abuse counselling and or specialist advocacy services, no matter when the sexual violence or abuse occurred. In addition to this, they also offer support to survivor’s loved ones. 

For more information about how to get support, visit their website: Sexual violence support and advice Essex (synergyessex.org.uk)

Note: The police were not able to provide a custody photo.

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17 Comments for Harlow man jailed after being found guilty of historic sex offences:

2022-12-22 00:47:05

What a w***** I knew that man from when I was a kid I hope you rot in hell you dirty b******.

2022-12-22 10:53:58

Disgusting! Vile man And living soo close to nearby schools Should be locked up for longer, poor girl has to live with this for the rest of her life

Dan M
2022-12-22 21:40:24

My thoughts are with the victim that had the courage,belief and power to be able to put herself through the ordeal of the process that this man has made her endure. As well as the victims family also having to go through all the trauma together. I couldn’t even start to wonder what emotions or feelings arise during this time. Please stay strong. Christmas wishes xx #staystrong #dontbeafraidtospeak

2022-12-23 21:31:02

I was there at the trial and sentencing, I wasn’t there back when this allegedly happened however something doesn’t sound right in her story not to mention she was caught out lying on one of the accounts. Maybe she made the whole thing up for the compensation she thought she would have got that she didn’t.

2022-12-24 12:44:28

C - you stand by your paedo mate then. The fact is at the trial you sat in the jury were ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ that he did do it. You obviously have rose tinted spectacles on you numpty. People don’t do this for compensation you absolute maniac! You shouldn’t go round making accusations like that, your mates been caught out and deserve what he got. Something doesn’t sound right? Well it did to the jury and that’s all that matters idiot. Be careful going round defending paedos - people don’t like that

2022-12-24 22:42:17

R, frankly I don’t care much of your opinion, how can evidence produced of three people all saying “she told me this happened” cause beyond reasonable doubt? It was a very baffling case, and during the sentencing the judge stated she will not be granted compensation so as I said she may of been going after compo, not to mention they don’t mention the 4th count that was thrown out because she stated in police report one thing and said another during the trial. Believe what you will and I will do the same. I stated my opinion on the facts of what I had witnessed first hand, and I stand by the fact something doesn’t sound right with her story. You’re only reading what the outcome was not the bigger picture. I believe in hard evidence if that was in this case fair enough but it wasn’t.

2022-12-24 22:55:48

Why did Mr Rance lie repeatedly throughout the trial and his police interview then? Changed his account multiple times. Lied and lied and lied; because he is guilty. Maybe have a look at the court transcript and read it for yourself. You obviously never paid attention to any of that bit. When going through sentencing guidelines the judge will always mention and consider compensation, doesn’t mean the victim wants it. These cases aren’t about that, it’s about getting justice for the poor victim and that’s what happened.

2022-12-24 23:20:05

well hi S, nice of you to join in the convo, you seem to be a little bit angry with the point I made, I wasn’t there when the alleged offence(s) happened I can’t say what is the truth and what is not I can only say what I see in front of me and that is a clear he said she said, nobody will know the truth apart from those involved in this matter, beyond reasonable doubt is what baffles me, the jury was told they need to be 100% sure and with evidence provided nobody could be 100% sure, I know the victim, I used to work with her and her mother I also know she has/had been known for lying, is she lying about this? I don’t know nobody does apart from her and obviously Mr Rance. Forgive me for sounding like I’m defending anyone however I will say I hate the fact people will all believe what the press write and then target anyone because they “read” about it. He’s in prison now so if he is guilty he is paying for it, if he’s not guilty then she has ruined his life and an innocent man is in prison. Just remember once in a while try flipping the coin to see the bigger picture. Oh and merry Christmas 🎄

2022-12-25 04:41:42

C- That's a pretty bold statement to make about the victim. Rather than hiding behind 'C' why don't you make yourself known to the victim seeing as you 'know her so well' and I'm sure she will be able to set you straight on the utter nonsense you have spouted!!! As for defending a paedophile that says a lot about your own character.

2022-12-25 09:03:27

I also know the victim & her family. Have been a friend for over 30 years. The peadophile wasn't just a peadophile he was a very violent man. That he admitted to in court. I hope he enjoys his Xmas dinner along with all the other peadophiles & rots in hell. Who the hell defends a peadophile inless your cut from the same cloth. Vile man.

2022-12-26 00:58:21

Wow just wow, unless I’m cut from the same cloth, wow congratulations Kay, I stated my opinion on what I witnessed not what I read and I get abuse it’s ok though I wouldn’t expect anyone to understand except those that treat people as human beings, as I also stated if he is truly guilty he is serving his time in prison, so why does he deserve the abuse on top of all this? And for the record violent man that only had a police record from when he was a child and I believe the judge mentioned was on a stolen car or van, around 40+ years ago. So surely if that was the case he would have had some sort of record between then and now. As I said I trust the system and how punishment is issued however I also know the system gets it wrong from time to time and may well be the case here. I’m gonna leave that as that, I have made my opinion just like everyone else has and am well in my rights to have, I don’t expect everyone to agree with me on it and wasn’t expecting anyone to agree, however no need to be abusive towards someone’s opinion, I haven’t been abusive to anyone else on here. And Megan she knows who I am and where I am if she wants to come talk I will happily tell her my opinion on the matter. Have a happy new year and I hope you all had a lovely Christmas 🎄

2022-12-26 08:21:36

As her friend. I can assure you that she could not care less about your opinion about any of it. If you chose to believe that man then good luck to you. At least most of his other family saw sense. Hopefully is time in prison will give him time to reflect on his actions over the years and the misery he has caused

2022-12-28 14:57:56

The legal System go through EVERYTHING from background checks with social services to looking at past online conversations etc.and not all of it goes public. The Jury result has to be unanimous and in that they found Rance guilty.on all three counts. The victim is obviously now a grown up woman and probably felt it was an injustice that Rance living a care free life without any recourse. l believe it takes alot of guts and courage to confront her abuser after so many years being that she was a mere 11 year old at the time it started. Rance will be out in 3/4 years and in the meantime people need to move on with their own lives.

Ian G
2022-12-28 19:24:44

I knew him too when he was a ref in the Harlow league.

Richard O’ seance
2023-01-01 23:43:11

I think C Is a family member of Geoffrey Rance. Properly His Sisters or Sons, but I can’t see his sons sticking up for him, as I know 2 of his Son’s, and they can’t stand him, and the other 2 live miles away. And i don’t think they bother with him neither. He’s guilty and a dirty vile so called man, he needs to be locked up for life. I worked with him at Tesco he was a creep with a warped mind. He always though his a bit of a ladies man, but really women hated him. I always found it Odd a man in his 50s doesn’t have his own family like wife, kids, grandkids. Only had his sisters and he used to moan about them. I hope he rots in that prison. And that poor 11 year girl who now is a women well done for opening up and facing your demons. And C keep your opinions to your self because I reckon your a member of his family or a sex offender yourself.

2023-01-02 05:50:04

My comment is aimed at C. May I ask, you suggest that because he wasn't recorded committing a crime for over 40 years that he simply cannot be guilty? That is perhaps the single most absurd statement ever written. Might I introduce you to Jeffrey Epstein, Harvey Weinstein or even Bill Cosby? All three were prolific sex offenders and went on for decades abusing women and children before anyone stood up and listened. What a horrible position for you to have taken. I surely hope that Mr. Rance uses this time in prison to reflect on his actions, and I can only hope that the victim can move on with her life and start properly living knowing that this less-than-human piece of trash won't ever cause her or anyone else harm again. Perhaps next time, you should choose carefully upon which hill you wish to die, because clearly the one you're standing on has less than equal footing.

Neale Smith
2023-06-16 11:38:29

I worked at Tesco for many years with Rance. This comes as no surprise to me. He was always sniffing around the young girls working in the canteen. Yuck

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