A JUDGE praised the courage of two abuse victims as he jailed their attacker for six years.
Gary Cheshire carried out sickening sex assaults on the youngsters a decade ago when they were schoolgirls.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the 39-year-old paedophile was arrested earlier this year after the victims, who are now both adults, found the courage to break their silence about their ordeals.
Prosecutor Bridie Smurthwaite told the court Cheshire had told his victims, who cannot be identified, to keep quiet about the attacks.
Both victims attended court yesterday to see Cheshire, of Runcorn Road, Red House, who pleaded guilty to indecent assaults, put behind bars for what he did.
After reading impact statements from both victims, Judge Christopher Prince said: “The courts know from experience it takes a huge amount of courage and strength of character for persons to come forward.
“It is not uncommon at all for it to take years or decades for victims to come forward.
“All the court can say to these victims is that they should not blame themselves at all for the time they have taken to come forward.
“That they have come forward at all is commendable. The result has been the defendant admitted matters to the police.
“For the strength of character in coming forward they are commended from the court.
“I am sure everyone else can only express admiration for the victims in this case.”
As a result of his convictions Cheshire will have to sign the sex offenders’ register for life and will be barred from ever working with children.
Scott Smith, defending, said Cheshire plans to move out of the North East once he is released.
During police interview Cheshire had spoken of his “self loathing” as a result of what he did.