A COUNTY Durham man is facing a 13-year prison sentence after being convicted of a string of sexual offences carried out in the 1970s and 80s.

Raymond Johnson, from Newton Aycliffe, was convicted of 11 offences, including ones carried out against a child under the age of 13, in September after a six-day trial.

The 77-year-old had denied indecently assaulting two children from the mid 1970s to early 1980s.

Judge Christopher Prince, sitting at Durham Crown Court, said Johnson's behaviour had had a "profoundly adverse affect" on his victims.

Shaun Dodds, prosecuting, told the court that the offences included exposing his penis to a child, putting his hands up a girl's top to touch her breasts and on one occasion penetrating her with his finger.

On another occasion, he bribed a girl with 10 pence coins, urging her to open her legs wider with each one, the court heard.

The offences were reported to police in March 2017 and when Johnson was first interviewed in May of that year, he admitted showing a girl his penis, and showing her a pornographic magazine, but said he had done it for the purposes of education, rather than for sexual gratification.

Lorraine Mustard, mitigating for Johnson, said medical reports had been made regarding his health.

She added: "He has been convicted, there's nothing that can be said of the offending."

The court heard Johnson, of Bulmer Close, had a number of previous convictions, including for violence, dishonesty and assault.

Judge Prince said: "There is no mitigation that arises from the defendant or that arises from age. You could have answered for these matters many years ago had you chosen to but you waited until they were brought to you."

He added: "You have a number of medical conditions not uncommon to a man of your age, non of which cannot receive an appropriate degree of treatment in a custodial environment."

Victim impact statements were submitted to the judge on behalf of both of the women involved but were not read to the court, at their request.

Judge Prince told Johnson that the most serious offence, by itself, would have attracted an 11-year sentence under the current law.

But because of the time when they were committed, the maximum sentence he could give was five years.

The total sentence for all eleven charges was 13 years, with a one year extended licence period.

He has also signed the sex offenders' register and was given a restraining order. It was decided that a sexual harm prevention order was not needed to protect the public.

At his trial he was found guilty of 11 of the 12 offences he was charged with.