A pensioner who indecently assaulted four young girls has just been jailed for two years.

Kenneth Mizen, 65, abused the children at his home. He admitted striking another youngster with a poker.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how Mizen used a belt buckle to beat another young girl and slapped her around her face with his hand.

Robert Woodcock, prosecuting, told the court how the attacks took place between ten and 30 years ago when the girls were aged between five and 12.

Mizen pleaded guilty to three charges of cruelty to a child, two of indecent assault and one of causing actual bodily harm.

He asked for a further two offences of indecent assault to be taken into account.

Robin Patton, defending, said: "He is not physically strong enough to cope with the abuse he will undoubtedly receive when he goes to custody."

Mizen, of Ellison Street, Hebburn, south Tyneside, was jailed for two years, and will be registered as a sex offender for ten years.

Judge David Wood told him: "These offences can have disastrous effects on the girls, it can affect them for the rest of their lives, as may well be the case here.

"Children have to be protected from this kind of offending. The message has to be sent to the public that the courts will protect the children in these circumstances."

In 1969 at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court Mizen was put on probation for two similar offences of indecent assault