A SOUTHAMPTON couple have been given jail sentences totalling 30 years after being found guilty of sexually abusing young boys.

Richard Townsend (pictured right) even filmed his partner Mark Metcalfe performing a sex act on one of their victims, believed to be in his mid-teens.

The pair also repeatedly abused two boys, under the age of 16, between 1998 and 2005.

A court heard one of their victims took his own life earlier this year – with the stress of the investigation being put forward as a possible factor in his suicide.

Both Townsend and Metcalfe denied any sexual activity with children.

But Townsend, 57, who works as an accountant, was found guilty of 14 counts relating to child sex offences following a trial at Southampton Crown Court.

In the same trial, Metcalfe, 56, was found guilty of three charges, including two counts of indecent assault and one count of sexual assault.

Yesterday, Townsend was jailed for 18 years, with an extended five-year sentence.

Metcalfe (pictured below) was jailed for seven years.

Daily Echo:

Following the pair's sentencing, the family of the victim who died earlier this year said they were “relieved” that Townsend and Metcalfe had been jailed and that "justice had been done".

The family said: “This is the best thing that could have happened because nothing is going to bring him back.

“After he told us about what had happened he was positive, he wanted to move forward.

“He wanted to go into schools and tell children that if it has happened to you then you need to tell someone because they will believe you.”

Earlier this week, Townsend and Metcalfe, both of Copsewood Road, Southampton, were found guilty following a three week trial at Southampton Crown Court.

Townsend was found guilty of four counts of indecent assault of a child, five multiple incident counts of indecent assault of a child, one count of indecency with a child, one multiple incident count of assault by penetration of a child, one count of rape of a child and two counts of sexual assault of a child.

Metcalfe was found guilty of two counts of indecent assault on a child and one count of sexual assault.

The investigations were carried out by the National Crime Agency (NCA).

NCA operations manager Graham Ellis said: “This is a deeply harrowing case.

“It takes immense courage to come forward, and the victims in this case have been incredibly brave in doing so.

“The NCA and our law enforcement partners are relentless in our pursuit of child sex offenders whose actions wreck so many lives.

“We have no greater priority than protecting children from sexual abuse.”