A PAEDOPHILE who groomed three girls before he sexually assaulted them was jailed for more than three years.

Tony Newton, aged 34, formerly of Upper Arail Street, Six Bells, Abertillery, admitted the child abuse on the day of his trial.

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Prosecutor Andrew Davies told Newport Crown Court how the catering industry worker had pinned one of his victims down and said to her: “Come on, you know you want to.”

She later told police: “I was shocked and scared and I didn’t know what to do.”

Newton admitted five counts of sexual assault and two of sexual assault against a child under the age of 13.

Mr Davies read out excerpts from the girls’ victim impact statements.

The first complainant said how “the abuse has been playing on her mind and how she is having terrible nightmares”.

The second victim told of how her ordeal had “affected her confidence and she has difficulty trusting people and how she felt uncomfortable telling the police about what had happened”.

The final complainant told detectives that she felt “disgusted and sad” after the attacks against her.

Mr Davies told Judge Daniel Williams that Newton had no previous convictions.

Eugene Egan, for the defendant, said the best mitigation he could put before the court was that his client had admitted the offences and that he was a man of previous good character.

He added: “His guilty pleas were tendered on the day of his trial, but better late than never.”

Mr Egan said it had spared the victims having to give evidence in a courtroom.

Newton’s barrister added that in his pre-sentence report, the defendant “spoke about his remorse and how he was sickened by his behaviour”.

Judge Williams told Newton: “I am satisfied there was an element of grooming.”

He added: “You left your victims isolated, upset and angry.”

Newton was jailed for three-and-a-half years and told he would have to register as a sex offender for life.

He was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order and will have to pay a victim surcharge upon his release from custody.