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18-year jail term for man convicted of child sex offences

A 65-year-old man from Frome has been jailed for 18 years for committing a series of sexual offences against four children in the 1980s and 90s.

John Toms, of Oldford,  was sentenced at Taunton Crown Court, after admitting 22 charges including rape, gross indecency, indecent assault and taking/making indecent images.

Toms was arrested in early July, after a member of the public saw him on a bus trying to take photos of a girl sat near him. Officers went to his house and seized computer equipment and materials which were found to contain indecent images of children.

Investigating officer Det Con Jon Hooper said: “John Toms admitted during police interviews that he was sexually attracted to young children and was in possession of indecent images.

“Our investigation has identified four victims who Toms sexually abused in the east Somerset area in the 1980s and 1990s. They were all around six years old when the abuse started. Toms is clearly a dangerous and predatory paedophile and we believe there may be more victims who have not yet been located.

“The judge said Toms had ‘an extreme and perverted interest in young girls’ and said he’d ’caused untold damage to his victims’. If you’ve been affected by this case, or have information about John Toms which you have not yet come forward with, please call us.

“I would urge victims to have complete confidence in us and know that if they come forward they’ll always be fully supported and given access to all the expert help and advice they need.”

If you want to speak to a member of the investigation team, please call Yeovil CID via 101.

If you want details of organisations and charities who offer expert help and advice to victims of rape and sexual assault, please visit