Mark Ward: Paedophile who raped boys jailed for 17-and-a-half years
A paedophile from Merseyside has been jailed for 17-and-a-half years for the historical sexual abuse of two boys.
Mark Ward admitted 20 counts of sexual abuse - which happened between 1979 and 1982 and from 1992 to 1995 - including two rapes and indecent assaults.
Ward, from Netherton, Sefton, was given 10 and seven-and-a-half prison terms for the rapes, to run consecutively.
The 53-year-old's sentences for the other offences, ranging from four to nine years, will run concurrently.
Det Sgt Paul Jones of Merseyside Police led the investigation after Ward's victims came forward in 2011.
Speaking after the sentencing at Liverpool Crown Court, he said: "The victims in this case suffered terribly at the hands of Ward, both at the time he carried out his crimes against them and in the many years since.
"They have shown incredible bravery and courage in coming forward to tell the police what happened to them.
"Victims of sexual offences, however long ago they happened, have a right to be listened to and a right to be believed and I would encourage anyone else out there who has suffered this kind of crime to find the strength within themselves to tell someone."