A MAN from Chester has been sentenced to 22 years in prison after he was convicted of sexually abusing two young girls and a woman over a period of more than 30 years.

Terence Bishop, 63, of Blacon Avenue, Blacon, admitted possessing indecent images of children and animal pornography but had denied the other charges against him.

However, a jury found him guilty of 11 sexual offences following a trial at Chester Crown Court in April.

Maintaining his innocence, Bishop rolled his eyes and sighed during a sentencing hearing as Judge Patrick Thompson outlined the impact of the abuse on the three victims.

All had suffered profound psychological trauma, leaving them with a range of issues including depression, anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and self-harm.

One had even taken to sleeping with a knife under her pillow.

John Hedgecoe, defending, told the court he could offer nothing in mitigation as Bishop still denied the offences.

The judge said the victims had shown “tremendous courage” in giving their testimonies during the trial when they were accused under cross-examination of lying.

“They are not liars and it is important that this is publicly recognised,” Judge Thompson said.

“You lied in your denials and you didn’t have the courage to accept what you had done to these women and at least give them the comfort that you were remorseful.

“You showed a complete lack of empathy for the victims and indifference to their suffering.”

The women cannot be identified because complainants in sex cases are granted life-long anonymity under UK law.

Jailing Bishop, the judge said the sentence could in no way reflect the impact the abuse had had on the victims.

“Each suffered terrible turmoil in their lives on account of your offending,” he said. “This was systematic abuse of two children.”

Referring to all three victims, he added: “I hope they can now gain some closure, come to terms with past events and look forward to a brighter future.”

The overall prison sentence includes 21 years in custody and one on licence. Bishop, who has no previous convictions for sex offences, will have to serve half before being eligible to apply for parole.

He must sign on the sex offenders register and was also made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) banning him from sharing a home with a child and restricting internet activity.

The judge commended detectives at Cheshire Police for their work in preparing the case.