A 58-year-old man has been jailed for 12 years for the sexual abuse of two children with offences occurring more than 20 years apart.

Michael Lionel Heavens, of Keynsham, was found guilty of 12 counts following a trial at Bristol Crown Court - consisting of four counts of indecency with a child and eight counts of indecent assault. He was sentenced at the same court earlier today (Tuesday, 13th July).

In addition to the prison sentence, he will serve an extended one year on licence and he was given a 10-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO). He will also be on the Sex Offenders Register for life.

The offences took place against one victim in the 1980s and the second victim in the 2000s.

At the hearing today, Judge Picton commended the courage of both victims and said they had given ‘compelling evidence’. He told Heavens that ‘his past had caught up with him’.

Investigating officer Anne Fox, of Operation Bluestone, said: “Both victims showed tremendous courage throughout our investigation, culminating in them giving evidence at the recent trial.

“This result has given them justice and a sense of closure, and it comes after years of silence and hidden trauma which has had a profound impact on both their lives.

“The victims were not known to each other and neither disclosed any details about the offending committed against them, before they were interviewed by the police.

“Heavens showed no remorse and refused to accept his guilt, but the jury took just over an hour to reach unanimous verdicts on all counts.

“No-one should suffer in silence and we’d urge any victims of sexual abuse, no matter how long ago offences were committed to speak out – if not to the police, then to one of the many organisations who can offer expert help and support.”