A FORMER pub landlord has been jailed for eight-and-a-half years after being convicted of child sex offences.

Raymond Baxter, who the Warrington Guardian understands ran the Poplars in Orford between 2016 and 2018, was locked up at Cambridge Crown Court earlier this month having been found guilty of seven counts of sexual assault, three charges of making indecent images and one of possession of an extreme pornographic image.

The 59-year-old, now of Dover, targeted girls aged under 10 on a number of occasions in the Peterborough area during the 1990s.

Two laptops and a mobile phone were seized from the defendant’s home during a police raid as part of officers’ investigations.

Thirty category A indecent images of children – showing the most serious forms of abuse – were discovered on the computer equipment, as were 24 category B images and 50 category C images as well as extreme pornographic material involving animals.

Baxter, who claimed after his arrest that the vile images had appeared on his computer due to a ‘web bomb’ virus, was also told to sign the sex offenders’ register for life and handed an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.

Mark Escott, of Cambridgeshire Police's paedophile online investigation team, said following the sentencing: "Baxter’s sexual abuse of his two victims went undetected for decades, and I am pleased he has finally been brought to justice.

"His abuse has had a huge impact on both girls, who are now adults.

"I hope they can move forward and are now able to find some closure from this traumatic period of their lives.

"Regardless of when it happened, we will always take reports of sexual offences, including child sex abuse, very seriously.

"In addition to the sexual abuse, a child is victimised when an indecent image is taken and every time it is viewed or shared.

"Protecting young people from harm is one of our top priorities, and we have specially trained officers who are there to support victims and bring offenders to justice."