Gerald Bourne St Leonards
Gerald Bourne, formerly of St Leonards, was sentenced to life imprisonment at Lewes Crown Court last Thursday (July, 6)

A man from St Leonards has been sentenced to life imprisonment after admitting to raping two young girls.

65-year-old Gerald Bourne, formerly of Warrior Square in St Leonards, will serve a minimum term of 13 years after being sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on Thursday (July, 6).

Bourne pleaded guilty to five charges of rape between 2003 and 2006 in Hastings and Kent.

The court heard the two victims were aged five and nine when Bourne sexually abused them.

The offences took place in picnic areas in Hastings and close to the A21 road.

Detective constable Lee Watts of Sussex Police said:

“Bourne took complete advantage of his victims who were young defenceless children.

“The sentence that Bourne received sends out a message that we take all such reports seriously and we will investigate where ever possible to try and seek justice for the victims, no matter how long ago the offences took place.”

Bourne had previously been convicted in 2010 of 37 counts of sexual assault on four children between 2000 and 2006.

He denied the charges but was found guilty and sentenced to 17 years in prison.