Somerset

Child sex offender Mark Lester guilty of 'horrific' crimes

Mark Lester Image copyright Avon and Somerset Police
Image caption Mark Lester, 60, of Riverside Close, Bridgwater, was convicted at Bristol Crown Court of 51 offences including rape and sexual assault mainly against children

A prolific child sex offender has been found guilty of more than 50 "truly horrific" offences against children.

Mark Lester, 60, of Riverside Close, Bridgwater, was convicted at Bristol Crown Court of 51 offences including rape and sexual assault mainly against children.

His convictions include two counts of false imprisonment and two counts of sexual assault after he broke into a house in Bridgwater in 2015.

He is due to be sentenced on 8 July.

'Abhorrent crimes'

The 60-year-old was originally arrested on 21 January 2015 after breaking into a house, threatening the two occupants at knife-point, tying them up and sexually assaulting one.

Following his arrest he was investigated for non-recent sexual crimes against five victims.

He was convicted of five counts of rape on a child and a further 42 counts of gross indecency on a child, sexual assault on a child, incitement to cause a child to commit sexual activity and making/taking indecent images of children.

Det Insp Lindsay Shearlock, said Lester had "refused to take any responsibility for these truly horrific crimes" and had "forced some of his victims to relive their ordeal" at trial.

"Lester systematically abused his victims for his own sexual gratification," he said.

"The crimes committed by Lester are abhorrent and I've no doubt will have a lasting effect on all the victims and their families."

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