A PEVERTED sailor who sexually abused two young boys 20 years apart has been jailed for 14 years.

Anthony Newman targeted the children, the youngest when he was just six years old, before going on to abuse them over a number of years.

The 57-year-old, who was in the Royal Navy, befriended the youngsters before going on to systematically abuse them.

Now he has been sentenced to a lengthy jail term after the victims came forward to reveal the abuse which blighted their young lives.

Stephen Dent, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court that Newman was aged 19 or 20 when he started to abuse the brother of a friend in the early 1970s.

The boy had just lost his father when Newman started to show him a lot of attention and would buy him alcohol, even though he was just 10 years old.

They shared an interest in model boats and the serious abuse started after the child had to strip after getting soaked wading into a local lake to retrieve a vessel which had got stuck.

Mr Dent said that after that occasion Newman regularly had sex with the lad in the lounge at his home, in his own parents’ bed and in a field.

The abuse went on for about a year, but the victim did not contact the police until 2006, when Newman denied any wrongdoing.

Mr Dent said because of a lack of corroborating evidence the case went cold until October 2009, when the other man approached them.

He told detectives how Newman abused him in the late 1980s and early 1990s, starting when he was just six years old, and it carried on for a number of years.

The victim, who was friends with one of Newman’s children, would regularly visit his home during the school holidays where he indecently touched him.

It stopped when he was 10 but resumed a couple of years later when he started to see him again during the summers when the defendant lived in Covingham.

Newman talked to the lad about sex and how he used to touch him and told him about seeing men naked in the showers while on duty in the navy.

Newman, now of Ely, Cambridgeshire, pleaded guilty to 12 counts of sexually abusing young boys.

Ian Halliday, defending, said: “It would appear all the offences were committed with ostensible consent: there were no threats of violence.”

The most serious offences were committed when his client was also young, he said, aged 19 to 23.

He said that Newman was not in good health, having early-stage Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, depression, anxiety, sleep apnoea and high blood pressure.

His current wife, with whom he has three children, is standing by him, as is his family, he told the court.

As well as jailing him, Judge Douglas Field told Newman he would have to register as a sex offender for life and would never be allowed to work with children.