A Cockermouth man has been jailed for four years for traumatising young children by sexually abusing them.
Raymond Alan Blaylock, 59, was also put on the sex offenders’register indefinitely, disqualified from working with children and banned from having unsupervised contact with anyone under 16.
Blaylock, of Main Street, Cockermouth, pleaded guilty at Carlisle Crown Court to 12 indecency charges.
Judge Barbara Forrester said that the way he had abused the children – all of primary schoolage – had “corrupted their lives entirely”.
The court heard his victims, though now grown-up and living in other parts of the country, had suffered lasting psychological harm because of what he did to them.
He repeatedly molested them.
Judge Forrester said his actions had been “not only distasteful but also often physically painful”.
She told him: “Not only was it terrifying and distressing for them at the time, but there have been long-term consequences which have affected their lives and their relationships since.
“One can only hope that by their courage in coming forward now they can at last move on and, if they feel it is appropriate, receive help for what they went through as children.”
The court heard that one of the children alerted an adult but was ignored.
It was only much later, in February last year, that one of his victims at last told the police what he had done and the others, after being traced, said Blaylock had done the same thing to them.
Because the offences happened many years ago Blaylock could be sentenced to no more than two years in prison for each offence, since that was the maximum punishment in force at the time.
If he had committed his crimes more recently he could have got up to ten years on each charge, since the maximum sentence was increased by parliament in 1997.
“Years ago the culture regarding sexual abuse was very different to what it is today and the majority of the public did not believe that child abuse happened on the level at which we now know it did,” Judge Forrester told Blaylock.