A SERIAL child rapist whose horrifying crimes have left his victims with severe psychological damage has been locked up for 16 years.

Shaun Powell was warned by the judge at Bradford Crown Court today that he could serve his entire sentence behind bars before being released on an extended seven year licence.

Powell, 46, lived in Bradford in the 1990s when he targeted a boy and girl, sexually abusing them before raping them.

He was arrested last year and pleaded guilty to all 15 allegations against him, including three offences of rape, eight indecent assaults, two charges of indecency with a child and two counts of indecent assault on a male.

Prosecutor Sophie Drake said Powell was in his 20s when he abused the two children.

He molested the little girl and made her watch pornographic films while he committed sex acts on himself.

Then he dragged her on to stairs and raped her as she screamed hysterically.

Powell sexually abused the boy when the youngster called round at his house for a video game.

He went on to rape him twice, telling him it was "their little secret".

In a statement read to the court, Powell's female victim said the abuse had been "a horrid secret."

Powell had taken away her innocence and her childhood and she trusted no-one.

She had since been suicidal, depressed and angry.

"I have been taking antidepressants since I was 15. He has taken away from me my present, my future and my past," she said.

The male victim said he was "emotionally closed off". The abuse had built a wall he was unable to take down.

Irrevocable damage had been done to his mental health and he had found it difficult to form and keep relationships.

Powell's solicitor advocate, Andrew Walker, said he was a married man who had committed no offences for the past 17 years.

He had been assessed by the probation service as a low risk of reoffending.

After he was questioned by the police in April 2016, Powell spent a month in hospital after stabbing himself in the throat and chest. He had since drunk bleach and attempted self strangulation.

He had ended his offending when he realised the harm he was doing and he was admitting the offences even as the police booked him into the cells, said Mr Walker.

Recorder Ben Nolan QC labelled Powell " a serial child rapist".

Jailing Powell, Recorder Nolan told him: "This was a prolonged campaign of sexual abuse which culminated in the rape of both of your victims.

"The horrifying and serial nature of your offending, and the degree of control you exercised over your victims, make you a dangerous offender."

Powell was jailed for 16 years as part of a 23-year extended prison sentence.

"You will be released when only and if the Parole Board consider you are safe to be released. In theory, you could serve the whole of that 16 years inside," Recorder Nolan said.

He made a Sexual Harm Prevention Order without limit of time and ordered Powell to sign on the sex offenders' register for life.

After the case, a West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “We would like to thank the victims for their courage in coming forward and reporting Powell’s crimes to our specially trained officers.

“We hope today’s result will give them some closure and allow them to move forward with their lives.

“Powell took advantage of two vulnerable young children and sexually abused them over a number of years and the lengthy sentence he has received is fully justified.

“We hope this will encourage other victims to come forward and report offences to the police, so these matters can be investigated and perpetrators brought before the courts.”