A MAN has been jailed for 12 years for rape and sexual offences against two children.

Ashley Stevens, 20, of Spring Gardens, Bourne End, was found guilty by jury of three counts of rape at a hearing on January 29, at Aylesbury Crown Court.

He had already pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual activity with a female under the age of 16.

The court heard that Stevens had befriended a 14-year-old girl on an instant messaging service online and, during 2011, raped her on three separate occasions.

During 2012 and 2013, he then befriended his second victim, a 15-year-old girl, on an instant messaging service and social media, and began a sexual relationship with her, which relates to the three counts of sexual activity to which he pleaded guilty.

The offences took place in Marlow and Bourne End.

Investigating officer Det Con Quoc Vo, from High Wycombe Force CID, said: “This was an appalling case where Ashley Stevens repeatedly raped his victim and engaged in sexual activity with another.

“The victims are still struggling to come to terms with what Ashley Stevens did to them and the consequences to victims have been profound. I hope the length of the sentence offers some measure of comfort to them.

“I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone, particularly young people, the dangers of meeting people online and the importance of making sure you know who it really is you are spending your time with.

“I want to thank the victims again for their bravery in coming forward. If you have been a victim of a sexual offence, please let us know. We will take you seriously, support you all the way and we will do everything to bring the offender to justice.”