A MAN who subjected young children to a campaign of sexual abuse and then prolonged their suffering by forcing them to give evidence at three trials was yesterday (Friday, September 6) sentenced to 23 years in jail.

Kenneth Fairley, 47, who still showed “no remorse whatsoever”, disrupted the second trial when he “overdosed”, a court was told.

But, at his third trial, he was convicted by a jury of 14 rape charges, as well as five charges of indecent assault, one of indecency with a child and one of attempted rape.

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Passing sentence at Newcastle Crown Court Judge Penny Moreland said: “You have robbed them of their childhood and caused them dreadful harm.”

During the trial, the jury heard that Fairley told one of his victims it was a “secret”.

Judge Moreland described his treatment of the victim as "heartless", saying he was "unmoved" by the child's tears.

Judge Moreland said: “You have denied your offending throughout and continue to do so.

“They (your victims) have given evidence on three occasions and you prolonged the procedure through self harm, which you inflicted on yourself, during your trial in November 2012."

Fairley, of Toft Crescent, Murton, County Durham, who denied all wrongdoing, was also convicted of an intimidation charge after warning one of his victims "you're dead", after his crimes were reported. 

Judge Moreland made him subject to a lifelong sexual offences prevention order, restricting his future contact with children.