A FACTORY worker who abused three different girls over three decades has been told he will receive a long jail sentence.

Nicholas Burrows began his abuse by having sex with a girl who was only eight or nine after taking her to a woodland beauty spot in Newton Abbot known as The Devil’s Pit in the 1990s.

He went on to have sex with a schoolgirl who was aged just 14 or 15 after inviting her and friends to underage drinking sessions at his bedsit in Powderham Road, Newton Abbot in the 2000s.

His final assault was the rape of a girl of about 11 when he was visiting her home in the town in the 2010s.

Burrows, who worked at a buildings material manufacturer in Heathfield, claimed that all the allegations about him were ‘slanderous lies’ but was found guilty of offences against all three girls by a jury at Exeter Crown Court after four days of deliberations.

Burrows, aged 58, now of Coxton Road, Torquay, denied but was found guilty of two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse against the first victim; five of indecency or sexual activity with a child against the second; and a single count of rape of a child under 13 against the last.

He was found not guilty of three offences of indecency against the second victim and a further rape of the third.

Recorder Mr Donald Tait released him on bail and asked the probation service to assess whether he should be sentenced as a dangerous offender.

The judge said: 'Before this trial he was of good character and I trust him to return to court on his day of sentence.'

He told Burrows: 'You have been convicted of very serious offences and are facing a substantial prison sentence.'

Mr Nigel Wraith, defending, said: 'It is clear that a lengthy sentence is inevitable. I ask that he be allowed time to put his life in order.'

During the trial all three victims, two of whom are now adults, gave evidence of how they had been abused when they were much younger. The first went to the police in 1994 and her video-recorded interview was still on file, but all the rest of the case papers had been lost.

Burrows was interviewed at the time but not prosecuted for the offences, which included having sex with the girl after taking her to Baker’s Park, through Bradley Woods, to a spot known locally as The Devil’s Pit.

The second victim was at school when she was befriended by Burrows, who used to meet her near the gates and take her back to his bedsit in Powderham Road.

A fellow pupil, who was a contemporary, gave evidence at the trial of going to the bedsit and another house where Burrows moved to in Torbay for parties at which under age girls drank alcohol.

The third girl said she was raped by Burrows in a bedroom at her home when he was visiting and was left alone with her. She later told social workers what had happened, leading to the start of the new investigation.

Dr Rowan Jenkins, prosecuting, said there was a pattern of Burrows moving from one victim to another and no evidence that any of the three victims knew each other or had colluded with each other.

Burrows said none of the incidents had happened at all. In a police interview he described all the allegations as slanderous lies.