Two men guilty of sexually abusing underage girls

Paul Thomas
Image caption Paul Thomas was warned he would receive a lengthy sentence

Two men have been found guilty of sexually abusing young girls over a 14-year period.

Paul Thomas, 50, from Hampshire, was convicted of 25 offences and Jerry Lee Howe, 40, from Lancashire, of three offences including rape.

The pair were remanded in custody and will be sentenced on 29 January.

Two other men, Paul Flynn, 30, from Reading, and Timothy Pittway, 49, both Winnersh, Berkshire, were acquitted of all child sexual abuse charges.

Thomas, 50, of Western Way, Basingstoke, was convicted of assaults against four girls.

Howe, 40, of Dunnyshop Avenue, Accrington, was found guilty of offences against one victim.

'Very young'

Both men had denied the charges against them.

The court heard that the attacks began in the mid-1990s and continued until 2010.

Kerry Maylin, prosecuting said some of the victims were "very young" and the abuse only stopped when they reached 16.

The men abused their victims separately at different times and in different locations over the years.

Ms Maylin said some of the victims were used to the abuse and "did as they were bid" by their attackers.

Speaking after the case, Det Insp Scott Clarke of Hampshire Constabulary said: "These men systematically abused and degraded children to the point where their victims felt their ordeal was just a part of growing up.

"It is down to the courage of these women that these most evil of offenders have been brought to justice.

"I only hope that with the ordeal that ruined their childhoods finally over, these people can start to rebuild their lives and enjoy their first Christmas free from fear.

"No one should have to experience the childhood that these victims did, one where sexual abuse was an almost daily occurrence."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites