A PAEDOPHILE 'predator' has been jailed for 10 years after being found guilty of a string of sexual offences.

Legal expert Clyde Robert Stevens, from Leigh, was convicted of nine offences committed against the same person by a jury at Luton Crown Court.

The court heard that the married 60-year-old dad-of-four sexually abused a girl on several occasions during the 1970s in Bedfordshire, with the abuse starting when the victim was just nine years old.

Stevens, who advised magistrates on hundreds of cases as a court clerk, met up with his victim in 2015 and sexually assaulted her again.

It was after this incident that the woman came forward about the abuse and a police investigation was launched.

Stevens was subsequently arrested and charged with the multiple offences relating to both the abuse in the 1970s and the sexual assault in 2015.

He was sentenced at Luton Crown Court on Friday, March 10.

Detective constable Jenny Bryce said: “This was a case of sickening and recurring abuse and I am pleased that Stevens has received such a lengthy sentence.

“This case shows that it is never too late to report abuse.

"No matter how much time has passed, you will be believed, we will take action and justice will be done.

“We absolutely will not tolerate any sexual abuse and we are committed to tackling these heinous crimes, supporting the victims and bringing those responsible to justice.”

An NSPCC spokesman said: “Stevens is a sexual predator with absolutely no remorse about the impact his depraved actions had on his victim in the past or in the present day.

“He must have thought he had got away with his crimes but, astonishingly, he contacted his victim and resumed his sickening offending.

“The victim must be praised for her tremendous bravery in coming forward to speak about what happened to her and to bring Stevens’ abuse to an end.

“We hope she is now receiving the appropriate support and it is entirely right that Stevens is now facing a significant prison term.”

Any adults who need help or support to discuss non-recent abuse or who have concerns about a child can call the NSPCC's helpline on 0808 800 5000.