A PAEDOPHILE who subjected two vulnerable young girls to multiple rapes in what a judge said was a "grotesque" campaign of sexual abuse has been jailed for 19 years.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how 50-year-old Andrew Chapman, who has lived in Kendal and at Warwick Square in Carlisle, was guilty of what Judge Nicholas Barker today described as "abhorrent abuse," ruining the lives of his two young victims.

One was of primary school age and the other of pre-school age when  Chapman began the abuse. "You have ripped up their childhood," said Judge Barker, highlighting how the victims were left battling with profound psychologial scars and trauma.

Chapman denied any wrongdoing.

But he was convicted after a trial of two child rapes - though the court heard these were samples of numerous incidents of sexual abuse; three counts of causing a child to engage in sexual activity; and two charges of sexually assaulting a child aged under 13.

The jury's guilty verdicts were unanimous. The court heard the defendant's depraved offending came to light after he was doorstepped by a vigilante paedophile hunting group

Prosecutor Tim Evans told the jury: "The defendant was arrested by the police following the visit of so called paedophile hunters to... his home and his phone was seized. You will hear that on his phone there were chats with other people in which he discussed serious sexual abuse of children."

Passing sentence, Judged Barker told Chapman: "When looking at the catalogue of this offending, all right-thinking people will be repulsed by your abuse....I am quite satisfied that you remain obsessed by the ideas of sexual abuse of children."

The judge referred to WhatsApp messages that Chapman had shared with a woman which were "troubling", and displayed what the judge said was an "ingrained perversion," which involved the defendant fantasising about the most grotesque abuse of children."

The judge continued: "Your explanation that these were some means to ingratiate yourself with the person and did not properly demonstrate your true desires was both transparent and pathetic.

"You have not shown any remorse at all; your only emotive reactions were your own sense of indignity at being doorstepped by a vigilante group and upon the verdicts being returned. I am satisfied you care only for yourself."

The judge imposed a total sentence of 19 years, with an extra year's licence period following his release. He will become eligible for release on licence only when the parole board judges it is safe. Chapman will be on the Sex Offender Register for life and he will also be subject to a lifetime sexual harm prevention order.

The defendant, wearing a loose blue T-shirt and trousers as he stood in the dock, showed no emotion as he was led away from the dock to start his sentence. Five members of the jury which him convicted yesterday came back to court to see sentence being passed.