A STOURPORT man has been jailed for child sex offences dating back to the the 1970s and 80s.

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

The 56-year-old was set to face trial in July this year at Hereford Crown Court, but just hours before it was about to begin he changed his plea to guilty for four of the charges.

At Worcester Crown Court on Monday (August 12), Timothy Sapwell, 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, so 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. The two victims mentioned in court cannot be identified for legal reasons.

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, with Judge Cartwright saying their young age meant Friend was still considered a danger to young children.

Abigail Nixon, for Friend, 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 said credit should also be given to him for having the "courage" to accept his guilt.

In sentencing, 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 about 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 upon release will be on a three-year licence.

He will also have to sign the Sex Offenders Register for the rest of his life.