A former school caretaker has been found guilty of seven sex offences against young girls committed 40 years ago.
Robert Bambury, who had worked at Clare Middle School at the time of the offences, was jailed for four years on Friday.
Judge John Devaux told the 75-year-old that the offences represented a breach of trust and, despite having been committed four decades ago, were still “very serious”.
Bambury was also ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register and made the subject of a sexual offences prevention order.
After considering evidence for almost 13 hours, the jury of six women and six men found Bambury guilty of seven offences of indecent assault at Ipswich Crown Court.
Bambury, formerly of Clare and now living at Wrights Close, Stowmarket, was found not guilty on three charges of indecent assault and one of rape.
The jury was unable to reach verdicts on three allegations of indecent assault and two of indecency with a child.
During the trial, the prosecution alleged that Bambury had sexually abused two girls between the mid-1970s and the mid-1980s.
Some of the offences were said to have been committed in a storeroom at the school while Bambury was showing one of the girls where he worked.
The offences came to light when one of the women went to police after an emotional discussion with her daughter, with officers then contacting the second woman for background information about the case.
One of the women told the court that Bambury had committed some of the offences under the guise of playing a game and on one occasion he had briefly touched her while she was in a swimming pool.
Giving evidence, one of the victims said: “I have spent my whole life trying to convince myself that it wasn’t real, that it was a dream, but it was real.”
A married father-of-five, Bambury told the jury that none of the allegations were true and he could not understand why the women, who he admitted he knew, had made them up.
He accepted that he did have a seven-year affair with one of the victims, but that only began when she was aged 16.
The court heard that when arrested and interviewed by police, Bambury had suggested that one of the women may have been suffering from a nervous breakdown when she made the allegations against him.
Bambury said that when she was older, one of the victims had chosen to move to live near him and never appeared to have any concerns about him.
He denied any of the incidents took place.