Vile couple subjected vulnerable girl to sickening abuse on Cumbrian campsite – then tried to convince her it was ‘normal’

A rapist couple has been jailed for more than 25 years over sickening sexual abuse they inflicted upon two young girls, including abusing a child on a Cumbrian campsite.

John Mills, 38, was aided in his sickening conduct by partner Tiffany Eccles, 27, including rape, sexual assault, and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. The pair were jailed for more than 25 years yesterday (May 9) at Manchester Crown Court after previously admitting over 20 offences between them.

The sickening attacks on the victims included sexually assaulting a girl at a camping site in Cumbria. The court heard how Greater Manchester Police first became aware of the couple’s offences in November 2021 when a teenage girl attended Bury police station with her mother to report Mills and Eccles for sexually assaulting her for a period of almost five years – starting when she was aged just eight-years-old.

READ MORE: ‘I killed him’: Foster mum of Leiland-James Corkill breaks down as she tells jury she ‘shook beautiful baby to death’

The girl described, in detail, several incidents of serious sexual offences committed by the pair, with Mills often inciting the victim to ‘do things’ involving himself and Eccles, engaging in sexual activity with them both at the same time. The court also heard how Mills was sometimes drunk when committing the crime, and over the course of the abuse was found to have sexually assaulted the victim at several locations across the North West.

As well as trying to communicate in a sexual manner with her via social media, Mills encouraged the girl to engage in sexual activity with Eccles and forced the victim to watch footage of Eccles having sexual intercourse with one of Mills’ friends. When the victim reported the crimes to the police, the pair were arrested and taken into custody for questioning regarding the offences.

After the arrest, a second victim came forward, who also alleged serious and persistent offending of a sexual nature perpetrated by the couple, the abuse starting when the girl was as young as three-years-old. The girl spoke of how Mills would routinely ask to do sexual acts with her and even told her about the activity he engaged in with the first victim when he raped her for the first time.

It was explained how Eccles was regularly present, actively engaging in the abuse and encouraging the victims to act on Mills’ request.

The couple, from Bury, were charged following their interviews following the quality and detail of evidence provided by both girls, before Mills and Eccles proceeded to admit the offences they were accused of in court.

Now Mills, of Rochdale Road, was jailed for 19 years and three months with an extended period of two years on license after admitting three counts of rape of a child under 13, three counts of assault of a child under 13 by penetration, and two counts of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity – in relation to the first victim.

In relation to the second girl, he admitted three counts of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child, six counts of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, and one count of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child.

Eccles, of Rochdale Road, was jailed for seven years and two months for – in relation to the first victim – one count of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child, and two counts of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity.

In relation to the second victim, she pled guilty to one count of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity and one count of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child. They must serve at least two-thirds of their sentence before being considered for parole; they have also received indefinite sexual harm prevention orders and restraining orders relating to both victims.

Both victims have received specialist support from police and partners during the investigation and have been praised for their efforts.

We’re here to help

You don’t have to suffer in silence if you’re struggling with your mental health.

Here are some groups you can contact:

Samaritans: Phone 116 123, 24 hours a day, or email jo@samaritans.org, in confidence.

Childline: Phone 0800 1111. Calls are free and won’t show up on your bill.

PAPYRUS: A voluntary organisation supporting suicidal teens and young adults. Phone 0800 068 4141.

Depression Alliance: A charity for people with depression. No helpline, but it offers useful resources and links to other information.

Students Against Depression: A website for students who are depressed, have low mood, or are suicidal. Click here to visit.

Bullying UK: A website for both children and adults affected by bullying. Click here.

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM): For young men who are feeling unhappy. There is a helpline: 0800 58 58 58 or visit the website.

Detective Constable Nichola McGregor, from GMP Bury district’s newly-formed Child Protection Investigation Unit, said: “I would first and foremost like to thank the two young victims that bravely came forward to speak to the police – without their support, John Mills and Tiffany Eccles would more than likely have continued to commit offences.

“Their courage has helped secure lengthy prison terms for both offenders, ensuring they are no longer out in the community engaging in their predatory actions.

“The two girls have endured repeated sexual abuse, the like of which nobody should have to endure, but – despite their young age – their tenacity and resilience throughout the investigation and court process has been astounding; they truly are a credit to themselves.

“Mills and Eccles jointly and systematically sexually abused these two children over numerous years and in multiple locations. They took advantage of their vulnerability; they groomed them, trying to convince them that the depraved acts they were engaging in were normal behaviours.

“Their sentencing will hopefully bring some closure to their two survivors who have spoken to us and send out the message to anyone that behaves in this way that GMP will do everything we can to bring paedophiles like Mills and Eccles to justice.

“We take this kind of report extremely serious. I would encourage anybody who feels they have been the victim of offences such as above to get in touch with the police.”

Anyone with information or concerns about someone being sexually abused is encouraged to contact us online via our LiveChat facility, if able, or by calling 101.

Details can be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Greater Manchester is nationally recognised as a model of good practice in terms of support services available to victims.

If you or someone you know has been raped or sexually assaulted, we encourage you not to suffer in silence and report it to the police, or a support agency so you can get the help and support available.

– Saint Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Manchester provides a comprehensive and co-ordinated response to men, women and children who live or have been sexually assaulted within Greater Manchester. They offer forensic medical examinations, practical and emotional support as well as a counselling service for all ages. Services are available on a 24-hour basis and can be accessed by calling 0161 276 6515.

– Greater Manchester Rape Crisis is a confidential information, support and counselling service run by women for women over 18 who have been raped or sexually abused at any time in their lives. Call on 0161 273 4500 or email help@manchesterrapecrisis.co.uk

– Survivors Manchester provides specialist trauma informed support to boys and men in Greater Manchester who have experienced sexual abuse, rape or sexual exploitation. Call 0161 236 2182.

Lancs Live – Cumbria