A man has been jailed for eight years after he was convicted of a series of sexual offences against a little girl.

The girl, now a grown woman, told a court she knew it was the right thing to come forward and report what had happened to her.

She was anxious that James Terrence Butler, of Farmdale Drive, Elton, Chester and formerly of Deeside, did not have the opportunity to do the same to anyone else.

Mold Crown Court was told the offences dated back more than 20 years.

Butler denied a total of 15 charges of indecent assault against the girl, aged under 10, back in the 1990s but was convicted by a jury.

He was cleared of a rape charge relating to another young woman back in the 1980s.

Butler received an eight year jail sentence from Judge David Hale, who also ordered that he register with the police as a sex offender for life.

He showed no emotion when the sentence was passed.

Judge Hale told Butler he had been convicted of 15 charges of indecently assaulting the victim when she was aged under 10.

The offences happened on frequent occasions over a three year period, he said.

Judge Hale told him: “These offences took place a long time ago.

“You are now a different man aged 62 but you have to pay the price for what you did.”

It was persistent offending against a vulnerable girl and his conduct had a serious effect upon her life.

The judge made a life-time restraining order under which he is not to approach the victim.

Barrister Anna Price, prosecuting, read a victim impact statement in which the complainant, now a grown woman, told of the effect his conduct had upon her.

She had found it hard to speak to people as a child.

The victim told how she felt self-conscious about the clothes she wore, would never wear short skirts and did not like men looking at her.

Before Butler did what he did to her, she had been happy and confident.

But she told how it took a very long time to try to get over what had happened to her as a child and she had been petrified of seeing him.

She suffered from stress-related illnesses and would have flashbacks to what had happened to her as a child.

The victim told how she suffered from depression, anxiety and panic attacks.

She had issues trusting men generally, realised she needed help and had counselling which had been a great help to her.

Coming forward to report what had happened had been difficult and had implications but she said that she knew it was the right thing to do.

She did not want him to have the opportunity to abuse anyone else.

Brian Treadwell, defending, said his client was now a man aged 62 with health issues who had no previous convictions.

The offences dated back more than 20 years.

“The man he was back then is not the man he is today,” Mr Treadwell said.

“This person before the court is a shadow of the man he was in the 1990s.”

Mr Treadwell said Butler was in a stable relationship and had the support of his wife.

During his trial Butler denied anything sexual had ever taken place.