A CHILDREN'S charity has revealed that it advised nearly 10,000 youngsters in York and North Yorkshire last autumn on what to do if they are sexually abused.

The NSPCC released the latest figures for its Speak Out Stay Safe school service following the jailing of rapists Anthony Woodcock, 41, and David Bellamy, 46, for 20 and 18 years respectively earlier this week.

A York Crown Court jury convicted them of 21 sexual crimes against a boy after he told them of the "campaign of rape" by the couple that destroyed his childhood and left him mentally scarred.

The NSPCC applauded the courage of the boy, now an adult, in speaking out.

A spokesman for the charity said: “Reporting child sexual abuse is not easy for survivors of this awful crime, so it’s vital they have confidence they will be listened to,

"Woodcock and Bellamy’s horrendous campaign of grooming and abuse will have had a devastating effect on their young victim, who has shown tremendous courage in speaking out.

“It’s now extremely important that he continues to receive support and we hope these sentences provide him with some degree of comfort."

As part of its national free Speak Out Stay Safe service for children, the charity visited 10 schools in York and 63 schools in North Yorkshire in the Autumn 2018 term, speaking to 2,588 children in York and 7,231 children in the county.

Each school visit under the scheme involves trained volunteers and staff from the charity with its mascot Buddy the speech bubble giving an assembly and workshop to children to teach them about who they can talk to if they are worried, either to a trusted adult or Childline, and what to look out for.

Woodcock and Bellamy of Byram near Selby had denied between them 16 charges of rape and five other sexual charges against the boy. He had been unable to tell police what had happened to him until years after the abuse ended and he was an adult.