Devon

Paedophile Anthony Ward jailed for abuse of young girls

Anthony Ward
Image caption Anthony Ward abused one of his victims for four years

A "classic paedophile" from Devon who sexually abused two young girls has been given an indeterminate jail term.

Anthony Ward, 48, of Bamfylde Road, Torquay, admitted 19 offences including rape and attempted rape.

He was told by a judge at Exeter Crown Court that he must serve at least seven years before being considered for parole.

The court heard one of the victims, whom Ward called "the special one", was just six when he began abusing her.

Prosecutor Andrew Oldland said: "Ward would tell her that she was the special one, the chosen one."

The abuse took place over a four-year period when she was aged between six and 10 and only came to light when she was due to have sex education lessons at school.

'Horrendous behaviour'

Another girl was aged eight when Ward began abusing her in the 1990s.

Defence lawyer Robert Linford said Ward had told a probation officer that his behaviour was "horrendous and terrible".

Sentencing him, Judge Graham Cottle said Ward was a "classic paedophile" who targeted and groomed his victims.

He said: "You pleaded guilty to a large number of serious sexual offences against two very young girls.

"It is perfectly clear the consequences for each victim have been and will continue to be extremely serious."

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