A MAN has been jailed for five years for sexual abuse offences in the New Forest.

Michael Wort, aged 69, of no fixed abode, was found guilty of three offences including one count of sexual assault of a girl under 13 (by touching) and two counts of indecent assault of a girl under 16.

The charges relate to crimes against three different children.

One offence took place against a child in 1971, three offences took place against another child between 1985 and 1986, and two offences took place against a further child between 2018 and 2019.

All of them took place at addresses in the New Forest.

Wort was sentenced on Monday at Southampton Crown Court.

He was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life and given an indefinite restraining order against contacting his victims.

Detective Sergeant Oliver Battersby, from Hampshire Constabulary’s Criminal Investigation Department, said: “We would like to commend the women who have shown incredible bravery and courage in coming forward.

"These are extremely difficult times for these women and it would not have been easy, both emotionally and physically, to have to re-live their ordeals from when they were younger.

“We know how hard it is to come forward and report these offences, whether they have taken place recently or in the past.

“We are committed to getting justice for victims and have specially trained officers to support them through the process.

“We would encourage anyone who has been a victim of child sexual abuse to contact police on 101 where you can speak with our specialist detectives in confidence.”

Two of the victims are encouraging others who have been victims of sexual abuse to come forward.

They said: “We would like to thank all the officers involved in the case and Hampshire Constabulary’s witness care team, for all their support through this most difficult time.

“They made the whole experience of coming forward so comforting, and while it was hard, we now have closure. We would recommend anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse to come forward.”

Those who have experience of sexual abuse are entitled to support whether they report the crime or not.

For more information and advice on support available go to Hampshire Constabulary's website.

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