A Seaton pensioner has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for several sex attacks on women and girls.
Brian Oswald Hamilton, 75, of Barnett Drive, appeared at Carlisle Crown Court today.
The sexual offences were committed against females between 1971 and 2003, including seven counts of raping a teenage girl.
Hamilton had pleaded guilty to the offences at an earlier hearing, having made certain admissions to the police following his arrest in 2012.
Hamilton also pleaded guilty to a further seven offences of indecent assault committed against a further four victims aged between nine and 16.
The offences came to light following one of the victims making a report of historical sexual abuse to the police last year, which in turn led to the other victims coming forward.
Detective Sergeant Duncan Brooker, of Workington police, said: “The sexual offences committed by Hamilton were of the most serious sort and are offences for which there is no excuse.
“Hamilton was grown and married man at the time that he committed the offences.
“It is obvious now that Hamilton had a deeply disturbed sexual appetite towards young teenage girls and if it wasn’t for his now relative infirmity, I have little doubt that he would likely still be committing such offences today.
“Had it not been for the bravery of the victims who have come forward and reported the offences, these crimes would have gone unknown and undetected.
“The strength of character of the victims in reporting these offences must be acknowledged and have led today to a sexual predator being where he belongs, in prison.
“Hopefully the sentence imposed will act as a deterrent towards people contemplating committing such acts, and more importantly, it will hopefully also encourage victims of such crimes to come forward and report these matters, even if they did happen some time ago.
“Whilst every case is different and whilst we can never predict the outcome of an investigation, we do take all such reports extremely seriously and victims can be assured that these matters will be investigated thoroughly and professionally.”