Updated: Jul 22, 2018
A diabolical family raped children during a 30-year campaign of abuse branded the “worst ever case of its kind” by a judge.
Twisted Antony Potts and three members of his family carried out a string of child abuse offenses over the course of three decades.
The 49-year-old was described as a “deeply depraved man” as he was jailed for life at Birmingham Crown Court.
He was 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.
Antony was joined in the docket by his dad, Keith Potts, who was caged for eight years alongside his wife, Julie, both for child cruelty.
Antony’s wife, Elaine, and family friend Joanne Hoye were also both jailed for four years after pleading guilty to neglect.
Brother Joshua Potts admitted to multiple counts of rape and sexual assault against children, while his sibling Nathan, 26, was jailed for 16 years for 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.
Jailing Antony Potts, Judge Carr told him: “You are a deeply depraved man who has taken many, many opportunities to abuse children and corrupt them.
“These are horrendous offenses.
“In 50 years practice and presiding over cases like this, I cannot think of a worse one.”
The court heard how the devilish abuse first came to light in 1989 when a girl came forward and told cops what Antony had done to her.
But the case was never brought to trial and in May 2015, three more children – all aged under 14 – said they had been abused by Antony and others.
Police were once again called but it was decided there was insufficient evidence to bring charges. However, the case was reopened in January 2016 when a fifth victim came forward.
The full extent of the abuse began to unravel and a further three victims were identified – meaning the ghoulish family could be brought to trial.
Jurors were read emotional victim impact statements giving harrowing details of how the victims were “groomed and brainwashed” by their abusers.
One said the abuse had a “major impact” on her life and she felt she was “let down as a child” by the police.
She also said she has suffered from “constant and daily panic attacks,” has post-traumatic stress disorder and has “reduced self-worth.”
Another victim said: “I want Antony to go to prison all his life so he can’t hurt anyone else.”
Joshua Potts will be sentenced in August.