A SELF-CONFESSED ‘monster’ has been jailed for 12 years after being convicted of a string of historic sexual offences against four young girls.

Bolton Crown Court heard how former fairground worker Warren Kirkby committed the sickening crimes in Bolton over a period spanning nearly 30 years.

At an earlier hearing Kirkby, from Westleigh Lane, Leigh, had pleaded guilty to 12 counts of indecency with a child, eight counts of indecent assault and two counts of causing a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity.

Kirkby, aged 61, conducted a campaign of perversion against the girls, some of whom were aged five and six, at the time the abuse started.

Extracts from their victim impact statements read to the court by prosecutor Jane Dagnall laid bare the devastating effect the Kirkby’s behaviour has had on their lives.

One of the victims told how the abuse had destroyed her life. She said: “The mental and physical abuse has been a barrier on my life, I have to force myself to go out and socialise. I don’t want to do anything really.”

She added that she struggled to hold down a job and form relationships and described herself as a ‘girl that is just lost’.

“I don’t have regular jobs because I get too depressed and always have been, my anxiety goes through the roof in big crowds.”

Nicola Gatto, defending, said Kirkby was genuinely remorseful for what he had done.

She said: “He has expressed some considerable remorse which the author of the pre-sentence report suggests is genuine, taking full responsibility for his behaviour, he doesn’t seek to pass blame in any way and accepts he has wronged them.”

She added that Kirkby had himself been a victim of abuse as a youngster and had told her: “It has turned me into a monster.”

Judge Timothy Stead, told Kirkby: "It’s always very difficult to separate out the many life-events and circumstances that bring about difficult and unhappiness in an individual case, but I have no doubt that these complainants have suffered serious and lasting harm, psychologically, as a result of what the defendant has done to them over so many years.”