A MAN who sexually abused two young children in Chester was spared a longer prison sentence because the judge had to use legislation from more than 20 years ago.

Graham Mansfield, 60, now of St John’s Chase, Wakefield, but whose address at the time of the offences was given in court as Parkgate Way, Chester, was jailed for six years yesterday (Thursday) by Chester Crown Court after he had pleaded guilty to eight charges of sexual offences against children which took place between 1982 and 1991.

Judge Stephen Clarke told the court he faced some difficulty sentencing Mansfield because he had to sentence under the legislation of the time which did not regard the type of sexual abuse as rape. He told Mansfield: “If I didn’t have to do that your sentence would have been well into double figures.”

The court heard that the victims had kept quiet up until May 2008 when the boy, now in his thirties, decided he had to report Mansfield to the police.