VICTIMS of a repeat sex offender have urged others who have suffered such abuse to have the nerve to come forward and report the crimes.

The women were commenting after their attacker, Carl Smailes, was jailed for 13 years a week after he was convicted of all six charges faced at Durham Crown Court.

Smailes, 37, subjected his three victims to drunken assaults, forcing himself upon them, in two separate occasions spanning several years.

It was following the second incident, in which two underage girls were sexually assaulted by Smailes, late last year, that the victim of a rape in the earlier case, an adult woman, also came forward.

The 37-year-old defendant, of Keats Road, Chilton, was charged with rape, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and four counts of sexual activity with a child.

He denied all six charges, but, was convicted on all by unanimous jury verdicts.

Judge Ray Singh adjourned sentence for a week to enable Smailes’ victims to update their impact statements, which were outlined in court.

Jailing him, Judge Singh told Smailes they were, “serious lecherous and predatory offences committed against vulnerable victims”.

He must serve two-thirds of the sentence before he will be eligible for release on licence.

Smailes was also made subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, registration as a sex offender, and restraining orders relating to all three women, all for life.

After the hearing, two of the victims said they would never be able to forget the abuse they suffered but wanted others to come forward.

“Don’t feel like people won’t believe you, don’t feel like nobody will understand, there is always someone who will listen and help.

“Call the police, speak to your GP, call a support helpline or speak to a family member or friend, even just a small chat will help.

“Nothing will take away what your abuser did to you, but talking will lift a weight from your shoulders.”

Acting Detective Sergeant, Dan Young, who led the investigation, praised the victims for their courage.

“This has been a crime whereby Smailes has targeted his victims when they were at their most vulnerable. They showed huge courage in standing up to Smailes and confronting the man who they describe ruined a part of their lives.

“Their strength in standing up against their abuser and seeing justice served is a testament to their strength and may help others in a similar situation to speak.”