A BRIDGWATER pensioner has been jailed today (Tuesday, January 30) after being found guilty of sexually abusing two young children.

Anthony Daniells, 73, of Spillers Close, Bridgwater was sentenced for committing five counts of indecent assault and one of causing or inciting sexual activity with a girl under the age of 13 following a trial.

The offences, which date back several years, involved two girls aged between four and eight.

Defending Daniells was Rebecca Bradberry, who highlighted that he had been an 'upstanding member of the community'.

"He is a man with no previous offences. He has donated more than 100 litres of blood and has been involved in running the local Boys Brigade," Ms Bradberry said.

But when sentencing, Judge David Ticehurst said Daniells was 'hiding a dark secret under his public facade'.

"You deliberately abused these two girls sexually for your own perverted pleasure," Judge Ticehurst said.

During the sentencing Daniells protested his innocence, exclaiming 'I didn't do nothing' from the dock.

But Judge Ticehurst replied: "You continue to deny the offences despite the verdict of the jury, and have shown no remorse for your actions.

"You made these two young women relive their ordeal before a jury. It is clear that your actions had a significant impact on their lives."

Defending Miss Bradberry explained that Daniells' ill wife, who he had been married to for many decades, would struggle 'financially, emotionally and physically' when her husband was behind bars.

However speaking for the prosecution, Tara Wolfe described one of Daniells' victims as being 'particularly vulnerable'.

Judge Ticehurst sentenced Daniells to 10 years in prison, with one year extended licence, and ordered a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and making him sign the Sex Offenders Register.