A 19-YEAR-old man from Bourne End has been found guilty of rape by a jury at Aylesbury Crown Court.

Ashley Stevens, 19, of Spring Gardens, Bourne End was found guilty of three counts of rape last Wednesday following a trial.

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

The court heard 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 a 15-year-old girl on an instant messaging service and social media, and they began a sexual relationship, which relates to the three counts of sexual activity he pleaded guilty to.

The offences took place in Marlow and Bourne End.

Investigating officer Det Con Quoc Vo, from High Wycombe Force CID, said: "These vulnerable girls got to know the defendant using instant messaging and social media.

"It is important in these modern times, with the ease at which we can communicate, that everyone takes extra care when meeting new people.

"The convictions for rape and sexual activity demonstrates that such abusive behaviour, whether or not within a relationship, is not acceptable.

"I want to thank the victims 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 and we will do everything to bring the offender to justice."

Stevens will be sentenced next month.