A MAN has been sent to jail 34 years after sexually abusing two sisters he was babysitting.
Andrew Rostron, of Southgrove Avenue, Sharples, was given four years behind bars at Bolton Crown Court yesterday.
He pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual abuse but denied two counts of rape, two counts of indecent assault and five counts of indecency with a child.
But a jury found Rostron, now aged 50, guilty of all the offences, which took place between July, 1975 and December, 1977.
Prosecuting, Paul O’Brien said the two girls he looked after told their parents about the abuse at the time.
However, the family decided to keep the matter to themselves.
But Rostron was finally held to account when the younger sister told a psychologist what had happened.
The court heard Rostron has worked as a machine operator for 21 years and been married for the same amount of time.
Following newspaper reports on the trial, Rostron was told by his bosses that he could not return to work because some of his colleagues had taken exception to his past, the court heard.
Farrhat Arshad, defending, said: “He was immature at the time. It is the passage of time which makes matters worse for him. Had he been dealt with at the time, there was very little that could have been done.”
Sentencing, Judge Timothy Clayson said that in his adult life, Rostron was a hard-working man of good character.
He added: “If you had been dealt with at the time, it is likely you would have been given a not especially lengthy sentence.
“You are now and have been for many years, a different person to the one who committed these offences when you were not fully mature.”
Rostron was sentenced to four years for both counts of rape, 18 months for each of the indecent assault charges, 18 months for each of the indecency charges and 12 months for the two counts of sexual abuse. The sentences are to run concurrently and the defendant was told he would spend half of the four year sentence in custody.
Judge Clayson told Rostron he must sign the sex offenders’ register for life but added that he thought the risk of him offending in the future was very low.