A HISTORIC sex offender has been locked up after depraved abuse towards his young victims came to light.

Bradford Crown Court heard the impact of Maurice Rhodes’s offending, which took place between the early 1980s and early 2000s, as vile details of the assaults he subjected his victims to was revealed.

Prosecutor Heather Gilmore described one victim as feeling broken, empty and distraught at what happened, saying there were days she would lock herself in the house and not want to go out.

Another said Rhodes, who the court heard was “controlling” and a drinker, had “taken away her innocence” and that she'd had sleepless nights over what happened.

Rhodes, 61, of Rookwith Parade, Greengates, Bradford, was found guilty after a trial of five counts of indecent assault, which included sexual touching and one incident which the court heard came close to rape. Some of the assaults took place after Rhodes had been drinking.

He was also convicted of possessing an imitation firearm for a terrifying incident when, after drinking, he held it so close to a teenager’s face she was looking down the barrel.

His Honour Judge Neil Davey said the harm and psychological damage Rhodes caused to his victims was “considerable” and highlighted how they go about their daily lives differently from more fortunate people.

Rhodes was handed a 15-year sentence, with a licence period of one year. He must also inform police of his whereabouts for the rest of his life.

Judge Davey commended DC Polly Jackson, of the Bradford District Safeguarding Unit, for her work on the difficult, lengthy and complicated investigation.

She said: “Rhodes not only sexually abused his victims over many years, he was also prepared to threaten them with violence to ensure he got what he wanted. We would like to praise their bravery in coming forward and hope today’s outcome will give them some closure.

“We also hope it will encourage other victims of sexual abuse to speak with our specially trained officers, who will investigate all reports with partners to identify perpetrators and bring them before the courts.”