A man has been jailed for sexual offences against girls in the 1970s.

David Budd, 72, a British national from the Orihuela Costa, was sentenced to eight years and 10 months’ imprisonment on Thursday at Snaresbrook Crown Court for seven counts of indecent assault and four counts of indecency with a child. He had previously pleaded guilty at the same court on Friday, 13 July.

The offences relate to four female victims, all of whom were children when the offences were committed.

In July 2017, one of the victims came forward to police and disclosed that she had been sexually assaulted by Budd in Newham when she was around nine years old.

Further inquiries by officers from the Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command (CASO) identified a further three victims, all of whom were also aged around nine years old when they were sexually assaulted by Budd.

In recent years, Budd had been living in Spain. On 21 December 2017, he returned to the UK and was arrested at Southend Airport. He was subsequently charged on Tuesday, 24 April.

Detective Constable Colleen Ryan, from CASO, said: “Budd was an ice cream seller in Newham; a position he used to gain access to and groom his victims.

“He preyed on young children by using his position as an ice cream seller to groom them. He succeeded in gaining their trust and then subjected them to abuse that no child should ever have to endure. The negative impact this has had on his victims’ adult lives should not be underestimated.

I would like to commend them for their bravery in coming forward and finding the courage to speak to police. We never underestimate how difficult this must be. It is very possible there are further victims of Budd out there and I would encourage them to come forward.”

“Child abuse will never be tolerated. I hope this conviction sends out a strong message to people that no matter the passage of time that has passed police will conduct a thorough investigation make every effort to bring the perpetrators of these depraved crimes to justice.”