THE FACE of a "dangerous paedophile" has been released today after he raped and sexually abused two young girls.

Lester Bell, 70, formerly of Colliers Way, Reading, was sentenced to a total of 25 years’ imprisonment extended to 30 years on licence.

One of the girls was just six years old when Bell’s abuse started and his depraved actions included rape and sexual assault.

Detective Constable Emma Cox revealed how Thames Valley Police's investigation led to the sentencing of the paedophile.

She said: “These are truly shocking offences against two victims who were both young children at the time Bell’s crimes began.

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“Bell systematically abused them over a number of years and controlled them by encouraging them not to report what he had been doing.

“It is to their credit that they both came forward and disclosed what Bell had been doing. Their bravery and resilience was demonstrated through their support of the police investigation and the subsequently challenging trial process.

“It is because of this that justice has been served, and a dangerous paedophile has been imprisoned.

“This case demonstrates that Thames Valley Police will always investigate reports such as these, no matter how much time has passed since the offences began.

“Criminals like Bell will often try to control their victims and make them think that they should not report such crimes. This is not the case. If you make a report like this, you will be listened to, taken seriously and your reports will be investigated, and criminals brought to justice.

“I hope that today’s sentencing will be the beginning of these two victims being able to feel safe, put this ordeal behind them, and to move on with their lives.”

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He was found guilty at a Reading Crown Court hearing on July 22 of two counts of rape of a child, three counts of sexual assault of a child, four counts of assault of a child by penetration, one count of attempted rape of a child and two counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

He pleaded guilty to one count of assaulting a child by penetration and four counts of making indecent images of children.

The offences took place in Reading between April 2010 and July 2019 and involved two female victims.

Reports were made to Thames Valley Police in July 2019 about Bell’s offences and he was charged in November 2020.

Judge Dugdale declared Mr Bell as a dangerous offender and commended the victims for their bravery in coming forward.