A SICK child rapist has been jailed after ‘burying his head in the sand’ for more than 30 years.

Richard Moore ‘stole the childhood’ of his two victims who were ‘little girls’ at the time when the offences took place in Winsford and Warrington from the 1980s.

At Chester Crown Court, the now 62-year-old was told by the judge that he has ruined the victims’ lives and that they are still affected by his horrific sexual abuse.

He appeared via video link for sentencing on Monday after being charged with rape and two counts of sexual assault.

Moore originally pleaded not guilty to the offences and failed to turn up to court on the day of his trial – which was described as ‘emotional turmoil’ for the victims who had found the courage to prepare themselves for the case.

A bench warrant was issued by the court and a few days later Moore was arrested before he then pleaded guilty to the three offences.

Prosecuting, Matthew Corbett-Jones told the court Moore raped a nine-year-old girl while he was living in Padgate.

He forced her to engage in sex acts – leaving her feel ‘scared’ and ‘uncomfortable’.

The second charge, which was classed as sexual assault at the time but is now classed as rape, took place when Moore moved to Birchwood.

Mr Corbett-Jones told the court how he then forced the same victim to put a dress on while he performed sex acts on herself before ‘partially’ penetrating her.

The third offence, which is a multiple offence, was against a different victim in Winsford.

He sexually assaulted the victim by touching her underneath her underwear on more than 10 occasions.

When Moore was arrested around 30 years later on March 23, 2018, he said the allegations were ‘a load of total rubbish’.

Mr Corbett-Jones read out both victim impact statements to the court.

One of the victims claimed that Moore ‘stole’ her childhood. She said he told her no one would believe her if she told anyone about what he did.

The court heard how she has struggled with her mental health throughout her life, has struggles with trusting people and often feels vulnerable and ashamed.

Judge Steven Everett responded to this: “It is a very sad fact victims of these horrendous crimes do often feel ashamed when the only person who should feel ashamed is the defendant.”

A victim impact statement from the second victim was read to the court which claimed she has no ‘quality of live’ and is ‘just living’.

She is on medication for her mental health and said it was ‘emotional turmoil’ when Moore did not turn up to the trial.

The court heard how Moore, now of Wigan, has a number of previous convictions – namely for gross indecency of a child under 14 in the 1980s – shortly before the offences he was being sentenced for took place.

Defending, Carmel Wilde acknowledged that it was ‘disgusting’ and ‘shameful’ offending, but said Moore is ‘very keen’ to show his remorse and is willing to engage in any rehabilitation.

She said: “He buried his head in the sand previously but now he is facing up to these offences.

“The same should not be that of the victims, but wholly at the doorstep of the defendant and that doorstep is now at Her Majesty’s pleasure and will be for some time.”

Ms Wilde asked the court to consider the ‘huge passage’ of time since the offences and the defendant’s ‘mature age’.

She told the court he is disabled after an accident at work where he fell off scaffolding and chipped a bone in his spine – which left him in a wheelchair.

Concluding, judge Everett said: “I tell you frankly, I am struggling to see any mitigating factors.

“You took advantage of two little girls in a terrible way.

“Lets be under no illusion, these are offences of the utmost seriousness.

“They are still affected and demented by what you did to them.

“I am quite sure that they will never get over to it and never ever be able to say ‘finally I am no longer affected by what that awful man did’.”

Moore was handed a 19-year prison sentence and must serve an additional 12 months on licence.

Detective Constable Vicki Abraham said: "I would like to praise the bravery of the victims who had the immense courage to come forward and report these offences to police.

"Justice has been served and I hope that this sentence can, in some way, bring some kind of closure to the victims and their families.

"I also hope that this case and the sentence that has been passed to Moore will encourage other victims of sexual offences to come forward and report them to Cheshire Police.

"Any allegation, regardless of how long ago it relates to, will be thoroughly investigated with victims being our main priority.

"All victims will receive the help and support they need from our specialist teams."