A paedophile who groomed two young girls before repeatedly abusing them has been locked up for nine years.
Ian Thomas Love, 52, from Pomona Street, Deeplish was found guilty of 17 counts of indecent assault by a jury at Bolton Crown Court. All the offences date back to the 1990s. The court heard Love groomed his victims so they believed the abuse was normal.
He began abusing one of the girls when she was very young. Sentencing, Recorder Mark Ainsworth said: “You abused your first victim from such an early age and so often for a number of years, she didn’t realise that what you were doing was so wrong. “No doubt that was your intent – to groom her so that she thought what you were doing was perfectly normal.”
In an impact statement the victim said: “I no longer trust anyone at face value. “My relationship with my mum has been affected, she feels that she let me down and failed to protect me.” Love was given a police caution in the 1990s after he admitted touching another young girl. Anthony Morris, defending, said the confession was a ‘cry for help’. He added: “This shows that he had some conscience at the time.”
But despite the ‘warning shock’ from police, Love continued to abuse his first victim and later moved on to another girl. Referring to the abuse of his second victim, Recorder Ainsworth, said: “At some point in a desperate attempt to get you to stop she said ‘I’ll tell my mum’ and you replied ‘she already knows’. “That was referred to as playing mind games and that’s exactly what it was.”
In an impact statement the second victim said: “When I was a child and being abused I knew what was happening to me was wrong, but I didn’t feel I could tell anybody. “I thought if my mum knew then maybe it was all right. “I hated what was happening to me, I used to cry myself to sleep.” Mr Morris argued that Love was no longer a danger to young girls as his last crime was committed more than 10 years ago.
He said: “The defendant has had the opportunity to continue in his lifestyle as before, but he has reserved his behaviour. He has now changed from being that outgoing character to keeping himself to himself.” But Recorder Ainsworth rejected the argument.
He said: “This conduct wrecks lives. The sentence will not be reduced or discounted to reflect events that took place years ago. It was always open to Love, had he wanted those matters dealt with before, to come forward and admit them. “I have to bear in mind the harm that he has done to these two women.”
Love was also given a 10 year sexual offences prevention order (SOPO), which prohibits him having un-supervised contact with any female under the age of 16 and ordered to sign the sex offenders register for life