Pictured: Child abuser Andrew Crane - jailed for 18 years after abusing two girls
A JUDGE told a man given 18 years for assaulting and raping two girls that his "past had caught up with him".
Andrew Crane was yesterday jailed after being found guilty of 15 sexual offences against the girls, who have now grown up.
It took a jury less than two hours to unanimously convict the 49-year-old at Nottingham Crown Court.
After the verdict, Judge Jeremy Lea told Crane: "You are nearly 50 years of age. But your past has caught up with you today."
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Crane was found guilty of six charges of indecently assaulting one of the girls, one charge of gross indecency toward her, and four of rape.
He was also found guilty of three indecent assaults and a rape on the second girl.
Both victims wept in court as the verdict of the jury of nine men and three women was read out.
Crane, dressed in a white top, showed little emotion but when the judge retired to consider sentencing could be seen wiping tears from his eyes.
Judge Lea said the case amounted to "the most serious abuse".
Jailing Crane, he said: "The evidence that we have heard has been clear and compelling. I don't need a victim impact statement having heard from them [the victims] to appreciate the impact of your offending upon them.
"The evil of this type of offending is the distortion of familial relationships, the destruction of trust that the child can normally have with those adults who look after that child."
The court heard that one of the victims had struggled to have a "normal relationship" with her mother and had found forming relationships as an adult difficult.
"This is a result of your offending when you were clearly intent on your own selfish pleasure," added Judge Lea.
"You could have made a full and frank admission and saved yourself a number of years in custody, and exhibited that you felt sorry for what you have done and didn't want to put these women through more trauma by coming to court."
Crane was also told he would be on the sexual offenders' register for life.
The jury had heard that Crane's first victim was five when he first abused her. She called what happened to her "her little chest of horrors", the court heard.
The jury heard Crane touched her, then gave her chocolate, performed sexual acts in a toilet and got her to simulate a pornographic pose from a magazine.
She went to police in 2011.
The second victim was frightened and crying when he first indecently assaulted her in a toilet when she was 11.
"On another occasion, he performed a sexual act in front of her and another time he raped her.
Crane was interviewed about her allegations in June 2012 but denied all offences, insisting that the girls were lying.
But the jury saw through his claims.
In mitigation, Ian Way said it had been years since the offences.
He said that since then "there's nothing to suggest that there's been any offending of this type".
He added: "He had no previous convictions."
Detective Constable Nicola Costello, who investigated the case, said: "Crane put his two victims through systematic sexual abuse over a number of years for his own gratification.
"He has remained cold and callous throughout; opting to put both victims through further trauma by making them relive what they've been through in a public trial.
"At no point would he accept responsibility for the harrowing abuse he inflicted.
"The significant sentence handed to Crane clearly reflects the extreme distress and pain he caused.
"I hope this signals an end to a difficult chapter in the victims' lives and that they are now able to recover and rebuild their lives."