A WIGAN man who raped two young girls, one beginning when she was only nine, is today starting a 14-year jail sentence.
Karl Croston, a dad of three, denied all the allegations during his trial and a judge heard that he still maintains his innocence.
Moving impact statements were read to the court from the two victims, one of whom was in tears in the public gallery, about the devastating impact on their lives.
The judge, Recorder Simon Medland, QC, told 43-year-old Croston, of City Road, Kitt Green: “You have shown throughout these proceedings a chilling lack of remorse for the truly dreadful offending you perpetrated against two very vulnerable victims for your perverted sexual gratification.
“Such offences blight the lives of your direct and indirect victims.”
Croston, a highways worker who also served as a steward at the DW Stadium, had been convicted after a trial by a Liverpool Crown Court jury, of five rapes, five indecent assaults and one of assault by penetration.
He was cleared on the judge’s direction of another rape offence against the younger victim because of uncertainty about the date.
The court heard that he began abusing her when she was only five years old and his behaviour, which escalated in seriousness, continued till she was 13.
The offences against the other girl, when she was about 16 or 17, had taken place before he turned his attentions to the younger victim.
The court heard that the older one now felt guilty for not having reported his assaults, which happened on two separate occasions, earlier so possibly preventing the other girl becoming a victim.
In their impact statements the two victims spoke of how their confidence has been adversely affected.
The older girl said she had tried to bury the memories but they were brought back when she spotted him at the DW Stadium, where he was steward.
Anthony O’Donohoe, defending, said that Croston is devastated about the affect of his imprisonment on his partner and their two young daughters.
He works in motorway traffic management and is highly thought of by his employers who have said they will keep his job open.