A PENSIONER who molested five schoolgirls in his shed and garage, after he only began offending in his 60s, has been jailed for four years at Worcester Crown Court.

William Bibby, now 76, of Nunnery Lane, Droitwich, pleaded guilty to 13 counts of indecent assault, sexual activity with a child under 13 and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

The girls, aged 11 to 15, were lured to his house by cider, cigarettes and cash payments for odd jobs such as collecting leaves from his garden.

One victim, who would jump over a fence to avoid him on her way home from school, said the abuse had changed her life from a sports-loving girl to one who felt so insecure that friends had to meet her whenever she got off a bus.

Another told police she suffered nightmares three times a week which often involved Bibby grabbing her.

She felt scared to go out alone and found it hard to trust other people. “What he did to me changed my life,” she said.

Judge Richard Rundell said it was impossible to assess the long-term emotional and psychological harm that Bibby's crimes had caused.

He said Bibby was a man of previous good character until he started this pattern of offending in his 60s. His wife had begun divorce proceedings.

Lynette McClement, prosecuting, said between 2004 and 2007 Bibby groped girls in his shed after brushing up against them in the limited space. Hugs and kisses progressed to more intimate touching.

He also tried to get two of the girls to touch him intimately, and committed numerous other sexual offences on his young victims.

The offences came to light last August after the boyfriend of one victim complained to police. Bibby gave officers two "no comment" interviews.

Defence counsel Richard Hull said Bibby deserved credit for his guilty pleas and for saving the victims the trauma of having to re-live their experiences at a trial.

But he said it was regrettable that Bibby reflected his "distorted beliefs" in a pre-sentence report compiled by the probation service.

The judge assessed Bibby as at high risk of committing further offences on release from jail and imposed a sex offences prevention order, banning him from contact with children under the age of 16.

Bibby must also sign the sex offenders' register for life so that police could monitor where he was living.