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Leading geotechnical specialist jailed for child abuse

A leading geotechnical engineer was jailed last week after being found guilty of 24 serious sexual offences against children.

ICE Fellow Dr Peter Rankilor, a world-renowned authority on the design and application of geotextiles,geomembranes and geosynthetics, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Friday.

This followed a trial at Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester in January where Rankilor, of Macclesfield, Cheshire, was found guilty of a series of charges of indecent assault and other serious offences against children between 1980 and 1996.

The 66 year-old was arrested after a woman went to police to report he had molested her in the
1980s when she was a child. Police investigating the academic discovered he had also abused another young girl.

Judge Mushtaq Khokhar told Rankilor that he had “robbed these girls of their innocence at a very early age”, and that despite claims of ill health, the severity and quantity of offences meant “the only possible sentence I can impose is a custodial one”.

Rankilor’s work covers soils structures, civil and marine engineering projects and waste disposal applications.
He was working as a consultant to geotechnical firm Uretek, advising on the development of the PowerPile system. “We are surprised and deeply shocked by the news,” said Uretek MD Chris Davies.

Readers' comments (3)

  • Prof. Peter Rankilor had much contribution in his research works in many areas including civil engineering, geotechnical, marine works, computer technology, expert systems and climate change as witness by his numerous publications & international papers. While Prof. Rankilor was punished for the crime he had committed, please continue to acknowledge his contributions to the world of engineering.
    Simon Kam

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  • I am Dr Peter Rankilor’s wife, Helena.
    I visited Peter today and he asked me to say to to all his friends, colleagues and associates that despite his conviction, he is totally innocent of all charges. He vehemently denies the allegations that have been made against him and he hopes that in due course his innocence will be recognised.

    I would like to add on my own account, that I know, without a shadow of doubt, that my husband Peter is completely innocent of every one of these appalling charges.
    Mrs Helena Rankilor

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  • I have known Dr. Rankilor since 1984 and together we travelled througout the world, especially in South East Asia. I made a formal statement in support of Dr. Rankilor and was a witness, for his defence, at his trial. I formally reiterate the main point of that statement that these accusations made against Dr. Rankilor are absolutely false.

    Together with Dr. Rankilor's wife, all her family, all their friends and Dr. Rankilor’s brother and sisters, I am sure that Dr. Rankilor is completely innocent of every one of the appalling charges. I hope the appeal can put things right and leave Dr. Rankilor a free, innocent man, doing his work with professionalism and enthusiasm, as he did before this terrible debacle began.

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