A CONVICTED killer, who threatened to kill the children he was sexually abusing, has been jailed for 15 years.

Maurice Wells warned the children they would suffer the same fate as his wife if they told anyone what he was doing to them.

Wells had shot his wife, Suzanne, dead in the front garden of their Colchester home in 1976.

However, his victims spoke out and Wells admitted three counts of indecent assault on a child aged between six and nine-years-old and three counts of sexual activity with another child.

Wells, now 73, was aged in his 50s when he began to groom a girl aged six to nine-years-old during the 1990s.

On Friday, Chelmsford Crown Court heard on one occasion he carried out a sickening indecent assault on the victim, which would now legally be classed as the rape of a child.

Emma Nash, prosecuting, told the court he offered her £2 to agree to the act but when she refused he did it anyway.

She said: “He told her not to tell anybody, she was told nobody would believe her.

“He told her if she did he would shoot her and her family, he told her he had shot his own wife.”

He indecently assaulted her on two other occasions.

Ms Nash said: “He told her again he would cause harm to her and her family.

“She did not tell anyone.”

The court heard since suffering abuse she has struggled to cope.

Ms Nash said: “She has a drink problem. She said she was scared of him. She wanted to stand up in court and say ‘Look what you have done to me’.

The court heard it had affected every day and every part of her life.

The second victim was abused in the 2000s.

Wells would sexually abuse her with various forms of sexual intercourse when she was too young to give permission.

She struggled to understand what was happening to her because of a condition which made her vulnerable.

He committed three counts of underage sexual activity with her.

Richard Potts, mitigating, said: “There is no disguising the enormity of the impact on these two young women.

“He suffers from diabetes and other health problems.

“He has not been convicted for many years.”

Wells, of Walton Road, Clacton, received three seven year sentences for sexual activity with a child to be served concurrently.

He received an eight year sentence for one indecent assault and sentences of three years and five years for the other indecent assaults.

These will be concurrent to each other but consecutive to the crimes against the other victim making 15 years in total.

Maurice Wells already had 15 convictions for 19 offences before he admitted the six sex assaults on two child victims.

The pensioner, who did not abuse any of his own family, had been jailed in 1977 for manslaughter.

Wells, then 33, killed his wife Suzanne Wells shooting her dead in their front garden in Gloucester Avenue, Colchester in 1976.

Police were involved in a seven hour siege at the time before he gave himself up.

The incident became known as “The Siege of Gloucester Avenue”.

He had denied murder but admitted manslaughter.

Emma Nash, prosecuting Wells for the sex assaults at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday, said: “He shot his wife on the front lawn of her address.

“He held his daughter hostage. He poured petrol over her.
“It lasted several hours.”

Judge David Turner QC said: “You were convicted of that here in 1977. You got ten years for shooting your wife. It shows you are capable of significant violence and loss of control.”

Wells shot Suzanne twice with a double barrelled shotgun after she claimed one of their children was not his.

He then threatened to set fire to the child and more than 100 police officers were called in with support from the emergency services.

He already had a conviction for assaulting her.

Wells tried to appeal the sentence the following year claiming he had been provoked and that had not been appropriately considered by the trial judge.

His appeal was dismissed.

Judge David Turner QC, speaking on Friday,  told Maurice Wells: “You are almost 74, a father and grandfather.

“On January 9, the day of your second trial you have pleaded guilty to six of 13 counts.

“The others will lie on file.

“You have pleaded guilty to a course of grave sexual misconduct.

“They were aged 15 and between six and nine-years-old.

“They were children, you were in your 50s and 60s.

“You owed them a duty of protection and trust which was gravely abused.

“There were elements of exploitation, manipulation, grooming and coercion, elements of concealment.”

He revealed one of the charges would amount to rape if committed today.

The younger victim made a victim personal statement.

Judge Turner read extracts including “it continues to affect me dreadfully, it has profoundly affected me, it has ruined my life.”

He said: “Threats were made.

“You have shown very little remorse but there is the beginning of recognition.

“You may well have been a damaged person yourself but you have turned that not into any empathy but evil.”