Devon

Anthony Smale jailed for using girls as 'sexual toys'

A pensioner who ruined the lives of two girls by using them as "sexual toys" has been jailed for 10 years.

Anthony Smale, 72, assaulted the girls when they were aged between nine and 15, Exeter Crown Court heard.

Smale, of Fair View, Barnstaple, denied nine offences of indecent assault against one girl and 13 offences of indecent assault or gross indecency against the other.

A judge said their lives had been damaged "irreparably".

They have suffered decades of psychological misery with anorexia, self harming and problems with relationships caused by their childhood traumas, the court heard.

'Characterised by abuse'

One of the victims only plucked up the courage to go to the police after reading in her local paper that Smale had appeared in court after being arrested over the other girl's allegations.

Judge Graham Cottle said: "You were convicted on the clearest possible evidence of the sustained and serious abuse of two very young girls.

"You decided to plead not guilty so these two palpably honest women were required to relive their miserable childhoods, which were characterised by abuse by you.

"You behaved in a way which ordinary people will find completely incomprehensible. You used these girls as sexual toys to satisfy your sexual desires."

He added the women had suffered "everything associated with abuse in childhood".

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