On Air Now
Stephen Mulhern and Emma Willis 9am - 12pm
16 June 2014, 16:14
65-year old James Barnard was convicted of assaulting two young girls aged four and eight over a period of five years.
James Barnard, of Hillsboro Road, Bognor, appeared at Lewes Crown Court on Friday 13 June, having been found guilty last month of five offences of assaulting the two girls, then aged between four and eight, on different dates between 2008 and 2013.
At last month's hearing he had been found not guilty of four other offences, involving two other girls.
Barnard was also ordered to register as a sex offender indefinitely on his release from prison and was served with a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) severely restricting his access to children.
Detective Constable Steve Edwards of the West Sussex Child Protection Team said:
"Barnard got to know the girls over a period of time and gradually gained their confidence, a classic example of 'grooming'. He then chose opportunities to subject them to sexual assaults, which in their innocence and vulnerability they did not mention to anyone at the time.
"Only when one of them spoke to her parents last year did his behaviour come to light."