A MAN who submitted children to "sickening sexual abuse" has been jailed for 19 years.

Christopher John Halloran, 67, of Sherburn in Elmet, was jailed at York Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to 25 out of 33 charges for the sexual abuse of children spanning more than 30 years.

He was given a prison sentence of 19 years followed by an eight-year period on licence.

Some of the offences took place when Halloran lived in Eastleigh in Hampshire before he moved to North Yorkshire where he continued to offend.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Amanda Bostwick, said: “Halloran took away his victims’ childhoods and most of them are still suffering from the sickening abuse that he subjected them to.

“They have shown incredible strength and bravery in coming forward and reliving their experiences, it is not an easy thing to do. I welcome the sentence handed down by the court which reflects the seriousness of his offending and I sincerely hope that it provides the victims with some closure and that they can now put a traumatic time in their lives behind them.

“I also hope it encourages other victims of sexual abuse to come forward in the knowledge that it will be fully investigated.”

Halloran was also issued with a sexual harm prevention order until further notice.

Halloran’s offending dates back to 1986 and involved nine victims aged between three and 19. Most of the abuse happened when the victims were aged between eight and ten years old.

The offences include child rape, sexual assault, assault by penetration, gross indecency with a child, sexual activity with a child, and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

North Yorkshire Police urged victims of sexual abuse, whether it is happening now or in the past, to contact the police.

A spokesperson said: "Even if it is not possible to put an offender before the courts, it’s important that you are offered the support and advice that is available. Your information could also help to protect other victims and help the police form a wider picture of offending.

"We appreciate that telling the police what has happened takes courage. It is not easy reliving such distressing situations. We understand this and have specially trained officers who will guide you through the process as well as signposting you to other agencies who can help you.

"Child sexual abuse and exploitation is a foremost priority for all police forces and all reports will be fully investigated. Please do not suffer alone, if you have been abused, please report it."

• To report a sexual crime to the police call 101

• If you are in immediate danger, always call 999 • If you prefer not to go direct to the police and you are not in immediate danger, you can contact a sexual assault referral centre (SARC) in your area. Bridge House, North Yorkshire’s SARC can be contacted on 01904 669339.

• Childline 24-hour helpline 0800 1111

• NSPCC’s online safety helpline on 0800 800 5002

• If you are worried about a child, call the NSPCC’s helpline: 0800 800 5000