A man who sexually abused four young girls in Blackpool has been jailed for six and a half years.
Judge Heather Lloyd said Michael McKell’s crimes had had a “significant impact” on his victims - with one even trying to take her own life.
McKell, 53, groped the youngsters over their clothing and in one instance touched one of the girls under her clothes.
Victim impact statements spoke of the girls - who were aged between 11 and 15 – having suffered fear and dread about the prospect of giving evidence in a trial. One of them took an overdose after making her complaint.
McKell of Princes Street, Blackpool, had pleaded guilty to three offences of sexual assault, two of sexual activity with a child and another of assault.
He has been jailed for six and a half years with an extended period of licence to follow.
He will serve two thirds of his jail term and will only be released when the parole board decides he is no longer a threat to the public.
Steven Wild, prosecuting said McKell’s behaviour included him telling one of them “Hope you don’t mind if I help myself... to you”.
The court heard one of the victims was told that if she said anything, some of her relatives would be taken away and killed.
A jury was sworn in, but he went on to admit the six offences.
Two of the victims had received counselling over what took place.
The court heard that McKell had previous convictions that included four years in prison in 1997 for indecently assaulting a young girl.
Richard Dawson, defending, said the defendant had suffered a very troubled childhood and he himself had been a victim of serious sexual abuse.
Judge Lloyd told McKell: “No child was to blame for your behaviour towards them, but that is how you made one of them feel. There has been a significant impact upon these little girls .”
McKell will be on the sex offenders register for life and has been banned from unsupervised contact with any child under 16.