A PERVERT who raped a young girl in the back of his van and sexually abused two others has been jailed for 20 years.

Steven Alan Lord, 52, was sentenced for historic rape and sexual assault offences which took place in Bacup between 1995 and 2013 and involved three girls under the age of 16.

Prosecuting Emma Kehoe summarised Lord’s offences, which included multiple counts of rape involving one victim, and multiple counts of sexual activity involving two other victims.

The court heard Lord abused one of his victims in the back of his van.

Miss Kehoe said: “All three of these girls have suffered terribly and have carried on suffering.

“The pre-sentence report shows no remorse at all and he tries to justify what he did.”

Miss Kehoe explained that the girls did not tell the police until years later, and when two of his victims came forward it prompted the final victim to speak up too.

Defending, Daniel Gaskell said that Lord, formerly of Market Street, Bacup, still finds it difficult to come to terms with what has gone on.

On the second day of the trail, which took place in March, Judge Andrew Jeffries gave Lord the opportunity to change his not-guilty plea after hearing one of the victim’s evidence.

Lord pleaded guilty later that day and told his defence barrister that he did not wish them to cross examine the remaining two victims, but the court heard he refused to demonstrate any remorse.

Mr Jeffries said the fact Lord had no previous convictions did not count for very much, and upon considering the question of whether Lord was dangerous, said he feared he was a risk of offending further should he not be deemed as such.

He said: “This is a man who on release needs to be watched for as long as possible.”

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Lord, now of Grayson Way, Oldham, was sentenced to 20 years in prison, and was made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order.

DC Amy Tattersall said: “All three of the victims have been incredibly strong and courageous. I can only hope that they can now find some peace in knowing that this man cannot harm anyone else.”