Police have welcomed a 16-year jail sentence handed to a Hartlepool child abuser and praised the bravery of his victims.
Joseph Jukes, 79, is facing the prospect of dying in prison after justice finally caught up with him.
It is thanks to their bravery that we see justice being doneDC Stuart Younger-Cooper
The pensioner, of The Green, Hartlepool, was found guilty after a trial of raping a young girl, five counts of indecently assaulting children, and five charges of gross indecency with children.
Jukes committed the sickening offences decades ago, Teesside Crown Court heard.
Police say the case shows they take all reports of abuse seriously. Det Con Stuart Younger-Cooper, of Cleveland Police’s Child Abuse Investigation Unit, said: “I was very pleased with the sentence handed to this man and would like to commend the victims for their bravery in coming forward. It is thanks to their bravery that we see justice being done. I would also like to urge any other people who believe they have been victim of similar offences to come forward and report it to police.
“No matter how long ago offending took place, we will always investigate allegations thoroughly, professionally and sensitively – with the victim and their wellbeing at the heart of any inquiry.”
Report offences to police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.