Sex-crazed ex-publican imprisoned for 11 years

David Furneaux

David Furneaux - Credit: Archant

A seriously ill former publican, who raped a woman and sexually or physically abused three girls and two boys across three decades, was jailed for 11 years this week.

Sex-crazed and violent David Furneaux, 69, committed the offences while running pubs in Gloucestershire, Somerset and Devon and continued even after he retired to Spain on health grounds, Gloucester Crown Court was told.

Jailing Furneaux, whose last British address was in Exeter Road, Exmouth, Judge Jamie Tabor QC told him: “Over the course of 30 years, your vile and bad temper and your rampant sexuality have cast dark shadows over the familes you have affected.

“I acknowledge that you are now seriously ill with a reduced life expectancy and that you will find your time in prison uncomfortable due to your chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and your need for oxygen.”

But, said the judge, there had to be a long prison sentence to reflect Furneaux’s abuse of his victims, most of them children at the time.

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Prosecutor Ray Tully said the offences occurred in Dursley, Bristol, Burnham-on-Sea, Sidmouth and Spain.

Furneaux pleaded guilty to raping the woman twice between July 1975 and December 1984.

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He also admitted five offences of indecent assault on a girl between January 1974 and November 1978, two offences of sexually assaulting another girl in July last year, cruelty to that girl and two boys aged under 16 between July 1975 and May 1985 and indecent assault of another girl between August 1987 and June 1989.

The offences had begun in Sidmouth and continued after he moved to Dursley and then on to Bristol, Burnham and Spain, Mr Tully said.

One girl victim of his abuse told police Furneaux had “completely destroyed her childhood,” he added.

Furneaux’s 30 years of offending all came to light when his most recent victim, whom he abused in Spain, rang her parents.

Other allegations then came to light as other victims realised that Furneaux had been arrested.

When Furneaux was arrested, he denied all the allegations. He had continued to do so throughout the proceedings, but then pleaded guilty at the last hearing in April to 13 of the 20 charges against him.

Even this week there was a question mark over whether the case would proceed because his barrister, Mr Paul Grumbar, said Furneaux wanted to dismiss him and change his pleas back to not guilty.

When Judge Tabor asked if that was correct, Furneaux told him to continue with sentencing even though he believed the UK was the only country in the Western Hemisphere where a man could be convicted and jailed without any proof.

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