A pervert who sexually assaulted two young girls while they slept has been locked up for two years.

Stephen Nolan remains in ‘complete denial’ about his sickening behaviour after he was convicted of abusing the girls, Teesside Crown Court heard.

The 41-year-old crept into the bedroom where the young girls were sleeping before sexually assaulting them on separate occasions.

Jon Harley, prosecuting, said the attacks have had a devastating impact on the lives of the two young girls.

He said the first victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, awoke to find the defendant touching her leg while she was in bed.

And the second victim awoke to discover Nolan stroking her chest before he quickly left the bedroom of the property in Darlington.

Mr Harley said both sexual assaults happened within a couple of weeks a few years ago.

The first victim told the court that the abuse had impacted on her life resulting in her self-harming.

“I have no trust in men and an extremely wary of them. I have lost a lot of friends and my confidence has gone,” she said.

“I feel like I have lost my childhood and struggle to sleep at night.”

The second victim said: “What he did to me has affected me in so many ways. Since that night, I have struggled to leave the house and sometimes even my bedroom.

“I have lost my confidence and don’t visit any of my friends anymore.”

The Northern Echo: Stephen NolanStephen Nolan (Image: Durham Constabulary)

Nolan, of now Brabourn Gardens, Hemlington, Middlesbrough, was convicted of two charges of sexual assault on children following a trial.

Chris Baker, mitigating, said his client suffers from health problems and it is clear that a term in custody could impact his mental health.

He added: “He has no previous convictions for relevant offences.”

Judge Stephen Ashurst jailed Nolan for a total of two years for both offences against the young girls as he ‘remains in complete denial’ about his offending.

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“What you did was sneak into the bedrooms, you thought both girls were asleep and you took the opportunity to touch each girl indecently,” he said.

“It’s quite clear from the evidence that you must have obtained some sexual thrill from that. You were ready with excuses.

“Both of the girls speak of their guilt and shame over what happened but they have no need to feel guilty because they were the victims of your behaviour.”

Nolan was also made subject to a ten-year sexual harm prevention order and told to sign on the sex offenders’ register for ten years.