DRIVING instructor Richard Andrews walked into Chippenham police station in March and confessed to a string of horrifying sex attacks on young girls going back 30 years.

Police revealed that it was pressure from the family of the 65-year-old driving examiner from Fishers Brook, Calne, that persuaded him into making the harrowing admission.

But a friend, who gave him shelter in the days before he was jailed, believes the father-of-three was wracked with guilt for his crimes.

Andrews, who preferred to be called John, was jailed for six years by Swindon Crown Court after admitting attempted rape, three indecent assaults and three counts of indecency with a child.

But people who knew the former driving instructor who ran the Lyneham School of Motoring, which is now closed, expressed shock and surprise at revelations of his sordid past.

Heather Beamish, 63, was co-owner of Fern School of Motoring in Calne until it closed two years ago and knew Andrews well.

"We would never have believed it," she said. "I would never have thought him capable of such a thing. He was always having a laugh and a joke and was very active in charity work."

Andrews, who is currently on his third marriage, was a keen runner and took part in numerous fundraising runs, including the London Marathon.

In 1983 he ran for Bristol Children's Hospital in the Swindon Marathon, which was on his driving test route.

It is thought that he raised more than £100,000 in total for different charities, but John Dolman, of Fishers Brook, near Calne, a friend of Andrews' wife, Julie, said he believes his fundraising efforts may have been his way of attempting to atone for his past crimes.

Mr Dolman explained how Mrs Andrews asked him to take in her husband when she threw him out of her house in Lansdowne Close, Calne, five months ago. Describing Andrews as a sad, quiet man Mr Dolman said he gradually confessed what he had done.

The officer in charge of the investigation, WPC Julie Corbett, said: "We're pleased with the conviction because it involved crimes that happened a long time ago, but even if the crime occurred 30 or 40 years ago we will investigate."

Pervert admits chain of assaults on girls

FORMER driving instructor and charity fundraiser Richard Andrews has been jailed after admitting a series of sex attacks on young girls in his distant past.

Andrews, 65, of Morehill Lodge, Fishers Brook, Calne, walked into Chippenham police station in March to confess his crimes after revealing them to his third wife.

His offences included a string of attacks on two girls aged four and 12 dating back 35 and 23 years.

The former airforceman groomed one of his young victims before carrying out the attacks over a period of several years, Swindon Crown Court heard.

The abuse of the child culminated when Andrews attempted to rape the youngster.

However, after realising the error of his ways, the pensioner walked into Chippenham police station in March this year to confess.

Chris Jervis, prosecuting, told the court that neither of his victims had made a complaint to the police until they were contacted by detectives.

Then they told officers how the systematic abuse had left them unable to form relationships or trust men.

The younger girl, now almost 40, said she thought a lot of what had happened to her was a dream but also that it had badly affected her life.

Mr Jervis told how Andrews starting abusing the first girl in the late sixties when she was about four or five.

He said the pervert would touch her and make her perform an indecent act on him.

Andrews also made the girl and one of her friends touch each other intimately over their clothing in front of him, he told the court. The abuse came to a head when Andrews tried to rape the youngster when she was about five years old.

Mr Jervis said "He said that he had tried to achieve penetration.

"He said he then desisted. He said he suddenly realised what he was doing and how horrible it was."

However in about 1980 he abused another young girl who was aged about 12, touching her intimately.

Andrews told the police that he had lived the past 23 years knowing what he had done and fearing that his family would find out about it.

However Andrews made a full confession to the police admitting numerous acts of gross indecency with the younger girl.

He said that during two interviews with police Andrew was full of remorse for what he had done. He admitted attempted rape, three indecent assaults and three counts of indecency with a child.

Mark Ashley, defending, said: "The reason that this came to light was because of Mr Andrews. Neither of the victims had approached the police.

"Apart from the dark side, and the incidents of more than 23 years ago, he is otherwise a man of good character."

Mr Ashley said Andrews had been in the RAF for 16 years and then for the past 30 years worked as a driving instructor and examiner.

He said Andrews had also run at least 50 marathons, raising more than £100,000 for charity, as well as giving up his time to help on cycling proficiency tests.

Jailing Andrews for six years, Judge Tom Longbotham said the author of the pre-sentence report felt it was unlikely that the offences were isolated and that consciously or unconsciously he had groomed the victims and remained a risk to young girls.

Andrews was also banned from working with children and ordered to register as a sex offender indefinitely.