A WORCESTERSHIRE sex offender has been jailed after being found guilty of 57 historic counts of child sexual abuse including incidents that happened in Stourbridge.

Gary Bennett, aged 61, of Shenstone Close, Bromsgrove, was handed a 28-year sentence, to serve a minimum of 18 years in prison, at Worcester Crown Court on May 8.

The abuse took place over a nine-year period from 1995 and 2004 across many different areas including Stourbridge, Kidderminster, Habberley, Bridgnorth, Leominster and London.

There were seven victims in total – six male and one female – all of whom were children or teenagers when the abuse took place.

The offences committed include rape, attempted rape, buggery and indecency with a child.

The abuse was first reported to police in May 2018 and an investigation was launched immediately.

Inspector Julie Taylor, who led the investigation, said: “This has been a long and complex case and I’m pleased that Bennett’s victims have finally been able to see him face justice.

“The abuse he put them through is absolutely sickening and is something which will affect them for the rest of their lives.

“I don’t underestimate the immense courage it took for the victims to come forward, and I’d like to commend them on their conduct throughout. Despite many delays in court proceedings, they have remained patient, dignified and determined.

“I’d encourage anyone who has been a victim of sexual assault, whether as an adult or child, and whether recent or not, to get in touch with us.”

Anyone who has been affected by sexual assault can get local support from the Victim Advice Line - a free and confidential service offering advice, practical help and emotional support to people affected by crime, regardless how long ago it happened or whether it has been reported to the police.

Support is available by telephone on 0800 9523000, via email at info@victimadviceline.org.uk and through live chat on victimadviceline.org.uk.