A STOURPORT man has been jailed for child sex offences dating back to the the 1970s and 1980s.

Paul Friend, of Trevit Close, Stourport, originally denied 12 counts involving indecency with a child and indecent assault when he appeared in front of Worcester magistrates last year.

His trial was set for July this year at Hereford Crown Court but just hours before it was about to begin, he changed his plea to guilty to four of the charges.

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Timothy Sapwell QC, prosecuting, explained these guilty pleas had been accepted by the crown as a resolution to the case, with the victims not having to give evidence at the planned trial, and his honour Judge Nicolas Cartwright ordered the rest of the charges to lie on file.

The span of offending took place between July 5, 1979 and July 4, 1984 and the two victims mentioned in court cannot be identified.

Details of their personal victim statements were given in court, highlighting the impact the offending had on their lives.

Both were children aged under 14 at the time of the offences, with Judge Cartwright saying their extreme youth led to him still being considered a danger to young children.

Abigail Nixon QC, defending, said: "He knows he will receive a custodial sentence.

"He is 56. Since the ages of 17 to 26-years-old he had nothing on his record."

She added credit should also be given to him for having the "courage" to accept his guilt.

Sentencing him, Judge Cartwright told Friend that as they were historical offences, sentences would be drawn up based on the law before it changed. He explained that today the offences would have been treated as rape of a child - an offence that carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Speaking on the victims, the judge said: "There are inevitable, psychological consequences that follow from such offending.

"(After the first offence) you didn't regret what happened - you moved on to more serious offending."

Friend was jailed for 12 years and on release would be on a three year licence.

The 56-year-old was also told he will have to sign the Sex Offenders Register for the rest of his life.

The judge sent him down from the dock saying, "you can go now" at the conclusion of the case that was heard at Worcester Crown Court on Monday.

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