A MAN has been jailed for six years after he admitted sexually abusing two underage girls 30 years ago.

Steven Ashbury, aged 63, previously from Worcestershire but now of Dysart Road, Grantham, appeared in Worcester Crown Court on Monday, August 19 where he admitted eight counts of indecent assault of a girl under 14 and five counts of inciting another under 14 to commit an act of gross indecency.

The offences took place between July 15 1988 and July 14 1989 in Worcestershire, prosecutor Andrew Wilkins read out statements made by the two victims.

The court heard graphic details about the "appalling" abuse committed by Ashbury.

Mr Wilkins said that certain acts "went on for about 10 months, about two to three times a week."

The court heard that during his interview last year, Ashbury admitted to touching and performing sexual acts on the two girls.

He said he was "unsure about how many times it happened."

Judge Jim Tindal said: "This is an unusual case of a very early guilty plea."

Michael Hall, for the defence, said: "To his credit, he has not sought to hide from the appalling offending from his younger years and he made his admissions early.

"He is an honest man who is experiencing genuine remorse for his appalling behaviour."

In an apology read out by Mr Hall, Ashbury said: "I am disgusted by my past actions and have been haunted by remorse for a very long time.

"I did not realise at the time that the consequences were so extensive.

"To all those people I apologise unreservedly."

In sentencing, Judge Tindal said: "Apologies are rare, but what is not rare is the catastrophic affect this has on young people.

"It casts a shadow on the lives of those affected.

"It's only now through this process that you have faced up to what you did and the damage that you caused."

The court heard that the abuse affected one of the girls' time at school and experiences flashbacks and that one "took up drinking which led to dependency and depression."

It was also heard that the victims were "spared the ordeal of a trail" following Mr Ashbury's interview and guilty plea.

Addressing the victims, who were present in the public gallery, Judge Tindal said: "You have been brave in coming forward.

"Thank you for your patience and respect."

Ashbury was also given a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and has been put on the sex offenders register indefinitely.