Police officers have praised two victims of a predatory paedophile as they came forward decades after being abused.

The 87-year-old was sentenced to serve 18 years behind bars for horrifically sexually abusing two children at Newcastle Crown Court last week.

As a younger man, in the 1980s, Reed subjected a 10-year-old lad to a brutal and painful attack after luring him to his home with the promise of using his binoculars.

He also repeatedly sexually abused a little girl when she was as young as nine, and Reed was in his 60s, giving her sweets afterwards and telling her to keep quiet.

Both victims have been left deeply traumatised by their ordeals, which they were too frightened to report until recently.

But after coming forward and seeing their abuser be convicted, Reed is now likely to die in prison.

Reed, of Callendar Court, Gateshead, admitted indecent assault on the male victim. It would be classed as rape if it happened now but he had to be sentenced for the offence as it would have been categorised at the time.

He also admitted 12 offences of indecent assault and indecency with a child in relation to the girl.

He was sentenced to a total of 18 years plus an extra two years on an extended licence. He will be on the sex offenders register for life.

The court heard Reed was convicted of two counts of indecent assault in 1979, when he asked for 18 similar offences to be taken into consideration.

In 1981 he was jailed for six months for unlawful sex with a 15-year-old girl.

Two senior police officers have now praised the man and woman for their bravery.

Detective Constable Lee Boys, of Northumbria Police, was one of the officers in charge of the case. He said: “To the average person on the street, Reed would appear to be a harmless elderly pensioner, but his horrific past has now been revealed, exposing him as the dangerous, deceitful and deprived man he truly is.

“The passage of time and his advanced years did not make him any less guilty, or any less deserving of a hefty prison sentence.

“His victims have waited years for justice and I am so immensely proud that they both came forward and spoke out.”

Detective Constable Nichola Bell, who was jointly in charge of the case, added: “Because of the victims’ courage and resilience, their attacker will not spend his last years living in peaceful comfort and facing no consequences for his vile actions; instead he will be forced to spend every day for the rest of his life thinking of the pain and suffering he caused two innocent children.

“I want to thank both the victims for their incredible bravery as by coming forward they have enabled us to bring a manipulating and dangerous man before the courts and be jailed for his despicable crimes.

“I know no sentence will ever take away the pain and suffering but I hope they will take comfort in knowing their attacker is finally behind bars where he belongs.”

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