A 71-year-old Ormesby man was sentenced to 27 months in prison for a series of sexual assaults while he lived in Ilford between 1972 and 1981.

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William Howard played strip poker with a nine-year-old girl and molested two others, aged nine and 10, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard last Friday.

He told one girl to sit on his lap and touched her breasts, insisting she kept it a secret, and forced her to touch him at his Ilford home.

And he showed his third victim “how to kiss a boy” and said if she told anyone, she would be “in a lot of trouble”, the court was told.

Passing sentence and referring to the evidence of a girl he abused three times in his car Judge Louise Kamill said: “She managed until recently to suppress the shame she felt, but she had to relive it in the witness box because you denied the offences.

“Her suffering goes on, and she has since learnt you abused other children. These are not the worst offences of their sort but the ages of the girls make them all very serious.”

Judge Kamill said she was restricted in the severity of her sentences because she had to apply the guidelines in force when the offences took place, which are much less than they are now.

Howard will appear on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years after a jury convicted him of three counts of indecency with a child and eight of indecent assault last month. He was cleared of a single count of indecent assault.

The allegations came to light after one girl came forward in June 2010.

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